U.S. regulators should challenge the proposed $45 billion merger of the two largest American cable providers, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the New York Times said in an editorial in Tuesday’s newspaper.
The editorial, headlined “A Cable Merger Too Far,” said there were good reasons for the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable by Comcast. The Times cited limited competition in the high-speed Internet market and Comcast’s negotiating power with Web content companies and TV programmers.
The combined company would provide cable-TV service to nearly 30 percent of American homes and high-speed Internet service to nearly 40 percent.
“The merger will concentrate too much market power in the hands of one company, creating a telecommunications colossus the likes of which the country has not seen since 1984 when the government forced the breakup of the original AT&T telephone monopoly,” the editorial said.
The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing whether the merger is in the public interest, and the Justice Department will decide whether it complies with antitrust law. Public interest groups and some legislators have opposed the combination.