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CFA to FCC: Block That Deal

The Consumer Federation of America, a strong critic of the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, made it official Monday, filing a petition to block the merger.

CFA says the deal would pose a "much greater" threat to consumers than the Comcast/NBCU merger, which CFA also opposed and the FCC approved.

CFA asserts that the "inevitable" result of the deal will be higher prices, worse service and less innovation, says CFA research director Mark Cooper, a familiar face on Capitol Hill testifying against media mergers.

“The acquisition of Time Warner [Cable] would increase Comcast’s market power by at least 50% and create a goliath that would tower over the industry," he said.

CFA argues that online video competition is the last, best hope of breaking the "stranglehold" of cable on content, and that the deal would put Comcast in an even more "commanding position" over distribution.

Monday (Aug. 25) was the deadline for comments and petitions to deny the deal. Comcast has until Sept. 23 to respond to all those comments and petitions, though executive VP David Cohen weighed in Monday in a lengthy blog laying out the case for the deal and against some of the criticism.