Comcast has very bad reasons for wanting to buy Time Warner Cable

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[Commentary] Comcast wants to own the Internet -- or, at least, the cables that carry it to most Americans’ homes. There is absolutely no way that Comcast can argue it would have meaningful competition in wired broadband or cable after the merger.

A merger would turn Comcast’s already long lead into overwhelming dominance. And Comcast knows this. So how can it convince the FCC that this isn’t a problem? By comparing itself to pretty much any company that offers Internet or video service in any form. Leaving aside its link to NBCUniversal, Comcast has three major offerings: wired broadband, cable TV, and video on demand. If a company has moved into any of those spaces, Comcast says it’s a competitor.

Taken individually, each of these companies do compete in some sense with parts of Comcast, but the comparison falls apart when you look at how many of these services run on its broadband network. Comcast offers carefully constructed revenue and market cap charts that place it and TWC at the very bottom of the scale -- except that it’s comparing itself to the entirety of multinational giants like Apple, AT&T, and Microsoft, as well as bizarre additions like Facebook.

Comcast can only claim new services compete with existing wired broadband if it vastly oversells their potential. Google announced tentative plans to bring Fiber to more cities in February, and Comcast has spun this into a pending flurry of expansions, ignoring the fact that Google has until the end of 2014 to announce its decision and currently operates in only two small markets. There’s no doubt it can spur competition, but certainly not on the scale that Comcast implies.

Comcast has very bad reasons for wanting to buy Time Warner Cable