The Writers Guild of America West and the Future of Music Coalition have teamed up to petition the FCC to block the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger.
Monday (Aug. 25) was the deadline for those petitions and initial comments on the deal.
In their petition, the groups argue that the deal "would grant an unprecedented amount of power to a single entity, harm consumers and create a serious threat to competition in the video and broadband marketplaces," and as a result it does not meet the FCC’s criteria for serving the public interest.
Comcast has said that with its spin-off of systems to Charter, it will have no more subs than it has been allowed in other transactions, and below the FCC's historic 30% threshold. But the groups say that even with those spin-offs, the company will be too big. WGAW president Chris Keyser said this is a "critical juncture in the history of the media, broadband and telecommunications industries. The FCC must put a stop to this spate of merger madness that threatens every principle of free market economics we deem important and jeopardizes the tremendous potential that the digital age has to offer all of us.”
They say the post-merger company will be able to control the cable and broadband distribution markets to the detriment of competition, choice and price.
"The best course of action to protect the public interest is to deny the merger application," they said.