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US: Senators want Comcast review to focus on programming

 |  November 20, 2014

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and US Department of Justice urging the regulators to focus on the potential impact on programming Comcast’s proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable would have.

Media recently obtained a copy of the letter, sent earlier this month, urging the FCC and DOJ to consider how the $45.2 billion acquisition could harm the ability for independent video providers to compete. The lawmakers also want the regulators to examine how the market would be impacted with the loss of TWC as an alternative programming distributor, according to reports.

Experts say, however, that the letter is a “mild positive” for the merger because it does not dwell on Comcast’s national reach, a central concern for consumer advocates and rivals. Comcast could own as much as 55 percent of the high-speed Internet service market, the senators said.

Further, they note that Comcast would control 16 of the leading 20 advertising markets; the FCC and DOJ, therefore, should consider how the deal would impact barriers for independent programmers to enter the video market.

Full content: Bloomberg

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