Earlier this month, Comcast announced it intends to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. We pointed out that this deal wouldn’t harm competition and would actually expand Net neutrality to millions of TWC customers, but that hasn’t stopped many from opposing the deal. Hillicon Valley took a look at both sides of the debate:
Supporters of the planned merger say the blowback in Congress is typical for business deals of this size, but rarely has a major affect on the outcome.
“This is the same merger theater that takes place every single time there’s a merger,” said Berin Szoka, president of the technology policy think tank TechFreedom.
Lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups “will cry that the sky is falling and that this merger is the end of the world and they grandstand about it because it’s not really about that merger,” he said. “It’s because they’re using the merger to stir up public support for their own regulatory agenda.”
“In short, it’s political theater and it’s based on the idea that big is bad.”
Szoka, at TechFreedom, said a larger cable company might actually be able to lower peoples’ bills, since it will have more leverage with content producers.
Instead of fighting the deal, Szoka that lawmakers’ time might be better spent on updating the law underpinning the FCC or investing in infrastructure to make it easier for broadband companies to expand their service.
“These are all things that Congress could be spending its time on that would be very constructive instead of wringing their hands about a merger that is going to go through anyway.”