Consumers Will Be Big Losers If FCC Approves Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

Posted April 16, 2014

MP3 Interview with Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy with Free Press, conducted by Scott Harris

cabletvmerger

In the debate over the proposed $45.2 billion Comcast takeover of Time-Warner Cable, there is much at stake both for consumers and media diversity. Opponents of the deal point out that a future marriage between Comcast, the nation’s No. 1 cable and Internet company and No. 2 Time Warner, would create a giant communications corporation that would dominate two-thirds of the country.

A coalition of consumer and public interest groups, including Free Press, Common Cause, Consumers Union and the Working Families Party assert that approval of the Comcast-Time Warner merger would be anti-competitive, anti-consumer and result in higher prices for cable and Internet service. Together the groups collected 400,000 petition signatures opposed to the deal, and turned them into the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, the two government agencies responsible for approving or rejecting the proposed merger.

While more than 100 lobbyists hired by Comcast are roving the halls of Congress advocating for approval of the merger, there are more than a few skeptics. During a recent Senate Judiciary hearing on the proposal, Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota expressed his strong opposition saying the megadeal threatens competition and could spike consumers’ cable rates. Between the Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy with the media democracy group Free Press. Here, he talks about the coalition of groups challenging the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger, and the consequences for consumers should the deal be approved.

Find more news and analysis on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger by visiting Free Press' website at freepress.net.

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