Comcast-TWC merger opposed by powerful computer industry group

The proposed $45.2 billion merger of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) can add to the list of powerful forces opposing it a group that includes Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Facebook, T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH).

On Monday, Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, sent a letter to Senate communications subcommittee member Al Franken, stating his misgivings about the merger.

Black, who was asked by Franken for comment on the matter back in early May, stated, "Allowing this merger would exacerbate a number of competitive issues in a market that is already highly concentrated. Acute competitive problems already exist in the last-mile broadband access market and not only will this merger lead to even less competition, but it would make competitive entry less likely in the future."

Black also noted that during the regulatory process for Comcast's takeover of NBCUniversal in 2010, the Department of Justice found the conglomerate made "twice as much from its legacy cable business" than it did from selling high-speed Internet access."

Black said he fears Comcast--despite being a leader in the pay-TV industry for TV Everywhere services--will stifle emerging TV video distribution technologies to protect that legacy cable business.

"This merger would only give Comcast/Time Warner Cable even more ability to successfully harm competition and innovation in the greater Internet ecosystem," he wrote.

The Federal Communications Commission and the DOJ should block the merger, Black added, "not only for the good of innovation, the Internet industry, and of consumers; but also for the sanctity of antitrust law itself."

For more:
- read this Computer & Communications Industry Assn. letter
- read this Multichannel News story

Related links:
Protest mars Comcast shareholder meeting; Sen. Franken seeks clarity on net neutrality abidance
Comcast takes bipartisan heat in House Judiciary hearin on TWC merger
With Comcast witnesses set for House hearing, Franken seeks input from CCIA

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