The Writers Guild of America West has come out against the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal.
It made that clear in a filing at the FCC.
The commission has not yet opened a docket on the deal—Comcast is expected to make its public interest filing by the end of this month-- but in comments for the FCC's annual review of competition, the guild said that "the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger would threaten competition by giving Comcast control of one-third of the cable television and Internet service markets... Allowing the company to add eight million subscribers only increases its ability to limit competition and there are simply no conditions that can undo the harm a merged Comcast-TWC would cause.”
Adding those 8 million subs would still keep Comcast/TWC below the 30% cap on an MVPD's total subs that the FCC once imposed before a court overturned it. Comcast has agreed to spin off 3 million TWC subs to ensure the total was in line with what the FCC has said in the past was not undue concentration, a past it points out where there was less video competition.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.