Several companies, labor unions and public interest groups have banded together to form a coalition that seeks to prevent regulators from approving the $45 billion proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
The Stop Mega Comcast Coalition said that it was against the deal due to the massive power that the merged company would wield over the video and Internet infrastructure of the United States.
According to the coalition, the proposed merger of the two biggest cable operators in the country would harm both the consumers and the competition in the technology and media industries, as the combined company would be controlling about 35 percent of the service coverage of broadband Internet and approximately one-third of the subscribers to pay television in the United States.
Among the group's concerns is how the Comcast-Time Warner merger, which the group named "Mega Comcast," might lead to the company increasing the prices for broadband Internet and limiting the program choices for consumers.
"They have every incentive and ability to sabotage those things that are positive for competition and for consumers," said Dish Network senior vice president and deputy general counsel Jeff Blum. Dish Network is among the members of the coalition.
Several members of the coalition, including Dish Network, have already raised their concerns regarding the proposed merger to regulators. However, they believe that strength in numbers is needed to be able to compete with the massive lobbying budget of Comcast.
Gene Kimmelman, CEO of the Public Knowledge advocacy group, said that the coalition is planning to have a meeting with the regulators, but an advertising campaign is not yet in the works.
In the official website of the Stop Mega Comcast Coalition, the group warned that Mega Comcast would dominate over certain communities, including the Latino households, as the company would control the programming for 19 out of the top 20 Latino media markets.
In addition, the coalition warned that the merged company would control a significant portion of the local cable advertising market, which would potentially force small businesses to pay higher rates just to be able to have the advertisements critical to their operations shown on TV.
The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is an all-stock deal, with Time Warner shareholders receiving ownership of almost a quarter of the combined company.
Last month, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said that the company is still moving "full steam ahead" with the merger despite uncertainties in the industry after President Barack Obama's call to the FCC to regulate Internet service providers as public utility companies.