A simple observation on the proposed the Comcast-Time Warner merger

Though combining the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 largest cable providers sounds like the kind of transaction that would raise the eyebrows of regulators, the cable market is still so fragmented that even after the merger, Comcast will control less than 30 percent of total subscriptions. That number is significant. On two earlier occasions, most recently in 2009, federal courts rejected efforts by the FCC to cap cable ownership at 30 percent. Even if the rule had been upheld, the combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable wouldn’t violate it.

That is from Larry Downes.  Geoffrey Manne  has produced a lengthy study of the proposed merger.  His conclusion?:

As Manne summarizes his paper, there is no “plausible theory” of anticompetitive harm under current antitrust standards. “Instead,” Manne writes, “arguments against the merger amount to little more than the usual ‘big-is-bad’ naysaying.”

Here is an earlier post on this proposed merger.  When you get past all the mood affiliation here (corporate, “big,” “merger,” “cable company screws me over,” “inequality,” etc.) this merger just isn’t that big a deal and the case against it isn’t that strong.


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