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US: Comcast merger filing turns ugly

 |  September 24, 2014

Comcast has officially filed its intent to acquire Time Warner Cable with the Federal Communications Commission, but in its latest filing the company is accusing several companies of extortion.

According to reports, Comcast claims Discovery Communications is trying to extort favorable conditions in exchange for not opposing Comcast’s merger with TWC. Specifically, the cable group is accusing Discovery of demanding business concessions. “Such extortionate demands are patently improper,” Comcast said. “As the self-proclaimed ‘#1 Pay-TV Programmer in the World,’ Discovery does not need additional regulatory help to succeed in the marketplace.”

Discovery approached the FCC with concerns over the Comcast deal several weeks ago, according to reports, saying that the merger “could result in lower quality, less diverse programming and fewer independent voices among programmers.”

Comcast also accused Cogent Communications and advertising company Viamedia of similarly trying to extort favorable advantages from the merger.

Reports say the FCC is expected to approve of the $45 billion takeover, but Comcast will likely be required to agree to significant concessions to move the deal forward.

Full content: Reuters

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