Comcast outlines TWC plans for FCC; prepares to face harsh critic at Senate hearing

It's a busy week for the folks at Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) as they rev up their efforts to bring Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) into the Xfinity family.

The MVPD has now officially filed its proposed $45.2 billion acquisition with the FCC, which has already been preparing for its part in the regulatory process. Without being asked, Comcast laid out a series of conditions from its previous acquisition of NBCUniversal that it said will apply to the new TWC merger, including open Internet rules, a standalone broadband access pledge, broadcast commitments and other programming agreements and a pledge to maintain separation between its broadcast and cable arms.

Claiming they face increased competition from online players, the two companies argued that their merger would not be anti-competitive, arguing instead that the very nature of the marketplace opens the door for companies to combine resources to present a more competitive product.

Even as the two companies put the pieces in place to defend their merger, they also are gearing up for a potential grilling before the Senate Judiciary Committee where they can expect robust opposition from at least one member of the Senate panel, Gene Kimmelman, a former member of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division and now head of Public Knowledge, a company that has openly opposed the merger.

Other witnesses expected to appear at the hearing include James Bosworth, from independent channel Back9Network; Richard Sherwin, of managed Wi-Fi provider Spot On Networks; and University of Pennsylvania law school teacher Cristopher Yoo. Comcast will be presented by Executive Vice President David Cohen and Time Warner Cable will have Executive Vice President Arthur Minson to present its case.

For more:
- see this Broadcasting & Cable story
- and this Variety story
- and this Yahoo Finance story

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