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US: DOJ investigating Comcast for advertising antitrust issues

 |  November 26, 2015

Back when regulators blocked Comcast’s attempted acquisition of Time Warner Cable, there were rumblings that some of what was uncovered during the review would come back and haunt Comcast. Among them appears to be data related to Comcast’s ad business, as the Wall Street Journal today reported that Comcast is facing a possible antitrust investigation into the company’s domination of the “spot” cable advertising market.

The investigation is focused on “monopolization or attempted monopolization” of the so-called spot cable ad-sales business in locations where Comcast offers service, according to the document. The document also indicates the government is examining whether Comcast’s ad deals with pay TV rivals are an unlawful restraint of trade.

Spot ads are the more local, sometimes lower budget ads that are run alongside the usual assortment of national ads.

Comcast sells this ad time through a division called Comcast Spotlight. Comcast also spearheads advertiser negotiations on behalf of rival cable operators in many markets. Comcast owns a majority stake in one of the main companies that helps national advertisers buy commercial time from cable providers in local markets.

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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