Culminating months of often vitriolic rhetoric, both attacking and defending Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), the end to the FCC's formal public commenting cycle rendered the predictable flurry of last-minute filings and statements.
The interests of Comcast and TWC were once again summarized by Comcast legislative affairs chief David L. Cohen, who highlighted points made in an FCC filing rendered Tuesday with a corporate blog post.
"As in many prior transactions, it is no surprise that various parties have attempted to use this review process to try to advance agendas they may have on industry-wide issues and air pre-existing grievances that are not related to this transaction," Cohen wrote. "While these opponents have leveled various allegations, they do not meaningfully contest or contradict the substantial benefits we have demonstrated and supported with compelling evidence."
Meanwhile, appearing alongside representatives from nonprofit consumer advocacy groups and independent programmers at a press conference Tuesday morning conducted by the anti-merger coalition Stop Mega Comcast, Jeff Blum, deputy general counsel for Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) highlighted points made in his company's own FCC filing.
"Comcast is the Hotel California of broadband, where you can check in but you can never leave," Blum stated, referencing--amid the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air--a 1977 Eagles classic to illustrate a larger point about consumer ISP choices.
However, the fragility of the loosely connected Stop Mega Comcast coalition was exposed moments later during the Q&A session, when a reporter asked Blum--whose company has been involved in two major programming blackouts within the last three weeks--whether the merger will further limit access to programming for consumers.
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Dish Network, labor unions form anti-merger coalition 'Stop Mega Comcast'