Public activists are asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay any other mergers by Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Inc., including potentially with for-sale Adelphia Communications Corp., until there’s a new national cap on cable audience reach.
Judges struck down the previous cap limiting one operator's reach to 30% of pay-TV subscribers three years ago and FCC efforts to set a new one have stalled.
The delay in setting the new cap--they want a lower one-- "is unconscionable" in a time of escalating cable rates, wrote Media Access Project and the Georgetown University Law Center.
The groups are also angry that when Comcast, bought AT&T’s cable systems, it got five years to sell its stake in Time Warner. If the Time Warner holdings are counted, Comcast's reach is 32%.