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July 10, 2014

Dish Network Urges FCC to Deny Merger

Comcast-Time Warner Deal Would Creative Unfair Advantages, Company Claims

The Federal Communications Commission is being asked to deny a major merger in the cable industry.

Dish-networkDish Network Corp. has requested Comcast Corp.’s purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. be denied because it “presents serious competitive concerns.” Dish Network’s opposition to the pending merger certainly isn’t surprising but the company made those concerns known in a filing with the FCC.

Dish Network’s chief executive officer, Charlie Ergen, was accompanied by other company executives when he met with FCC chairman Tom Wheeler Monday.

Dish Network argued, in its filing, the merger will leave competitors playing on an unlevel field when it comes to Comcast.

“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,” said the filing. “Each choke point provides the ability for the combined company to foreclose the online video offerings of its competitors.”

As reported by Business Week, the commission is examining the proposed $45.2-billion merger. The deal would see two of the country’s largest cable companies come together giving Comcast nearly 30 million customers.

Comcast, Variety reported, issued its own statement in reaction to Dish Network’s filing. The company argued every market it operates in is highly competitive.

“Dish has long been one of our most vigorous competitors, and unlike us has a national footprint available in tens of millions of more homes than a combined Comcast –Time Warner Cable,” the statement said. “Dish not wanting stronger competitors isn’t surprising and it isn’t new. Any issues regarding NBCUniversal programming and other video services, whether they be traditional or over the top are already amply covered by pre-existing FCC rules and deal conditions.”


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.