Writers Guild asks FCC to reject Comcast-TWC merger

Contending that a merger between Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) "would give too much power over broadcast and cable networks," the Writers Guild of America has asked the FCC to block any such action.

Comcast, the WGA argued in a brief filed with the FCC, "has already demonstrated its inclination for anti-competitive behavior by exempting its own streaming service from data caps when watched on a (Microsoft) Xbox while applying data caps to competing services."

The deal would put control of "almost 30 percent" of the cable and satellite TV market under Comcast and "would force networks to agree to terms and rates set by Comcast, harming investments in programming," the filing, as covered by Deadline Hollywood, continued.

The FCC filing adds yet another layer to the WGA's opposition to the deal. In February, the guild issued a statement that "Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is bad for everyone: content creators, programmers, suppliers, and consumers. As writers know all too well, media consolidation leads to already too powerful companies limiting competition. The WGAW will fight to stop this ill-conceived merger."

The latest filing took note of what the union contends is a video programming market that is already consolidated and "lacks sufficient competition at all levels."

"Allowing (Comcast) to add eight million subscribers only increases its ability to limit competition and there are simply no conditions that can undo the harm a merged Comcast-TWC would cause," the filing concluded.

For more:
- Deadline Hollywood has this story
- the Writers Guild of America issued this statement

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