Dish Network to FCC: Don't approve Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal
Dish Network is urging the Federal Communications Commission to deny a proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, arguing the move threatens competition in the television market and would hurt the overall ability for customers to have better service at lower rates.
The satellite broadcaster was meeting with FCC officials this week and argued following the meeting that the purchase of Time Warner by Comcast "presents serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video marketplaces and therefore should be denied."
The concerns were raised even further in an FCC briefing by Dish.
Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen told the FCC that "there do not appear to be any conditions that would remedy the harms that would result from the merger."
The possible merger has sent waves of concern across the television and satellite markets, with companies scrambling to cover issues that could arise from a unified massive enterprise if the deal is approved. But like Dish, many observers believe that merging the two major television content suppliers would limit the ability for future competition to enter the fray and could see monopolies arise in different parts of the country, if not the across its entirety.
Dish has said it is concerned over the leverage the merger could have on negotiating deals with content suppliers. It could mean that only Comcast-Time Warner would be able to put forward amounts to win deals, leaving other companies, including Dish, on the outside.
If approved by the FCC, Comcast would be the major player in both New York and Los Angeles, the top media markets in the country.
"A combined Comcast-TWC will be able to exercise its enormous size to leverage programming content in anticompetitive ways," Dish said. The result of such leverage would be smaller distributors such as Dish having to pay more for their content.
It also argued that if the merger is approved, it would give one company too much power over the market and would create hardships for other companies in the regions they currently function.
"Comcast-TWC will have at least three 'choke points' in the broadband pipe where it can harm competing video services: the last mile 'public Internet' channel to the consumer; the interconnection point; and any managed or specialized service channels, which can act as high-speed lanes and squeeze the capacity of the public Internet portion of the pipe," Dish told the FCC.
"Each choke point provides the ability for the combined company to foreclose the online video offerings of its competitors."