AAI Files Reply Comments in the FCC’s Proceeding on Comcast-Time Warner Cable – Merger Will Exacerbate the Emergent Access Problem in Broadband
In a second round of comments to the FCC, the AAI furthered the case against the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. The Reply Comments look more closely at a major competitive issue raised by the proposed merger — the merged broadband ISP’s enhanced incentives to use its power as a “gatekeeper” of the crucial last-mile interconnection to tens of millions of U.S. broadband subscribers to restrict competition. This type of potential post-merger conduct would limit or control competition from rival online video distributors and inflict collateral damage on middle market participants that deliver their services. The AAI letter explains this concern, lays the landscape of an emergent, consolidation-driven “access” problem in the U.S. cable broadband industry, and makes the case for why behavioral access-type antitrust remedies to address exclusionary gatekeeping concerns would be misplaced.