A Time For "No!"

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[Commentary] How much more do regulators need to know before they understand that the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is bad news all around?

It’s bad for consumers, competition, and our very democracy. Word is it could take many months, maybe close to a year, for the two government agencies to conduct and complete their reviews. Really? The facts of the case should lead both agencies to speedy thumbs-down decisions.

  • Fact Number One: The merged company would further diminish competition.
  • Fact Number Two: Consumers, long hurting from over-priced cable and from scarce and costly broadband, would face even higher bills.
  • Fact Number Three: This proposal, if approved, would wreak significant harm on our civic dialogue and, indeed, on our democracy.

I don’t believe that, apart from the cable barons themselves, anyone would welcome the cableization of the Internet. Yet that is precisely the danger here. And who better to cableize it than the biggest cable company? What a tragic denial of the promise of the Internet this would be!

Let’s get rid of this threat right now with clear and straight-from-the-shoulder denials of the merger by the Department of Justice and the FCC. This is a time for “No!”

[Copps served as a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission from May 2001 to December 2011 and was the FCC's Acting Chairman from January to June 2009]

A Time For "No!"