Even as Comcast continues to lobby Washington regulators over the merits of its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, California has become the latest state to call for an inquiry into what the merger would look like.
The state action comes as a number of analysts and competitors worry the merger would lead to a monopoly of cable TV and broadband in many parts of the country.
This week, David Cohen, Comcast executive vice president, was in Washington to meet with Federal Communications Commission officials over the merger, and he argued the deal should be based on business and not on how other industry competitors are dealing with the proposed merger.
But on Aug. 14, California's public utility commission said in a memo it had concerns and questions. It is the second state after New York to call for an inquiry into how the merger would help the public.
"The ultimate test of a proposed change of control is whether or not it is in the public interest," California officials wrote.
In order for California to be satisfied with the merger, Comcast must first deliver an explanation as to how the TWC merger would be a boost to broadband and voice infrastructure. The company must also prove the merger would deliver an increase in service to students and the poor across the state.
The FCC will not make a final decision in the merger until after receiving California's review, which is expected in December. The FCC started the 180-day formal review process on the proposal on July 10. Comments and petitions about the deal are due to the FCC by Aug. 25, with responses to those comments due Sept. 23 and final comments due Oct. 8
The Comcast-TWC merger has led to some vocal antagonism from competitors, Tech Times reports. Dish Network has urged the FCC not to approve the deal, arguing that it would create a monopoly and threatens overall competition that would hurt customers.
The TV provider told FCC officials that the merger "presents serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video marketplaces and therefore should be denied."
Likewise, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said that "there do not appear to be any conditions that would remedy the harms that would result from the merger."
Comcast argues the combined forces of two of the leading cable and Internet providers would create faster Internet for users and better overall infrastructure.
The $45 billion Comcast-TWC proposal is one of two mergers the FCC is pondering, as Tech Times reports; the other is the proposed $49 billion AT&T-DirecTV deal.