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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Comcast's Enemy May Be Comcast -- By Holman Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal

Aside from some bizarre shilling for a new golf channel that would like to get onComcast and Time Warner's cable systems, aside from the perfunctory consumer activist sounding his perfunctory alarm about a corporate "octopus," aside from the prairie populist song of former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Al Franken, Comcast and Time Warner emerged pretty much unscathed from their encounter with the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

And why not? Even senators get the basic argument. In their cable TV businesses, their merger wouldn't reduce competition because the duo already don't compete against each other, even as they compete with a growing array of third parties, including satellite everywhere, telephone companies in numerous markets, and Netflix and other "over the top" providers wherever customers have access to decent broadband.  

In their broadband business, they also don't compete with each other, even if consumers and politicians might wish for more competition generally.

The case against the merger (which nobody made) comes from positing some fairly complex and speculative anticompetitive synergies. Because the new company would be such a big player in the cable TV business, dominating the crucial New York and L.A. markets, it might be able to bully programmers into denying over-the-top competitors must-have content, especially sports, needed to deliver a true cable replacement.

Because the new company would control so much of the premier broadband network, it might skimp on investment in faster speeds or degrade service to make any over-the-top provider less competitive with cable.
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