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ACA Troubled By AT&T/DirecTV Deal - Broadcasting & Cable

ACA Troubled By AT&T/DirecTV Deal

Says spate of deals should prompt larger look at marketplace and existing regs
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The American Cable Association wants the government to look at the big picture when it reviews a proposed AT&T/DirecTV deal, a picture ACA suggests is getting bigger all the time with the recent wave of megadeals.

In a statement, ACA president Matt Polka said the association, which represents mid-sized and smaller cable ops, is concerned by the latest deal announcement, or what he called the "proposed takeover of DirecTV."

“AT&T’s deal merits the closest scrutiny by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission," he said. "However, it is increasingly clear that Congress and the FCC simultaneously need to take a comprehensive look at the market that will exist if all these deals are approved, and to decide whether existing rules that govern the current market are sufficient for the new industry order."

Among the questions that scrutiny needs to focus on, he said, are "Will consumers not served by Comcast, Charter, and AT&T be harmed from a marketplace dominated by a few large players, especially when this consolidation is combined with rampant consolidation in the broadcast industry," and "Will these customers be harmed by mergers that may result in the video content industry as a result of the consolidation in the pay-TV distribution industry?"

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