Comcast Plans to Take FCC To Court Over 30% Ownership Cap
Comcast is closest cable provider to cap, with about 27% of multichannel video providers.
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/12/2008 2:09:00 AM
Comcast plans to take the FCC to court over its 30% cable ownership cap "at our earliest opportunity."
That's according to Comcast executive VP David Cohen, responding to the FCC's release Monday of the final order outlining its reasoning behind adopting the cap on one cable company's share of multichannel video service subscribers.
"The record at the FCC provided absolutely no support for a horizontal ownership cap of 30 percent, a position that has been supported by the courts," said Cohen in an e-mailed statement to B&C. "In an era of increased and intensifying competition among telephone, satellite and cable companies, the case for a 30 percent cap is even weaker than when the courts rejected it six years ago, and we plan to challenge this Commission decision in the courts at our earliest opportunity.”
Cohen said the FCC was favoring the telco competition at the expense of cable.
“The FCC action in this case is perplexing from the same Commission that approved the largest telecommunications deal in history with the AT&T merger, as well as two other Bell Company mega-mergers in the past three years," he said. "As these FCC decisions have strengthened the hands of our Bell competitors, it is unthinkable that the government would constrain the ability of cable companies like Comcast to compete with these colossal companies that have virtually unlimited financial resources. In fact, AT&T alone has a market capitalization of $221 billion -- larger than the entire cable industry combined.”
Comcast is the nation's largest cable operator and the closest to the 30% cap at about 27% of multichannel video providers.
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