AAI on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger — Further Concerns About Exclusionary Gatekeeping and the Emergent Access Problem

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, AAI furthered the case against the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. The AAI letter looks more closely at a major competitive issue raised by the proposed merger — the merged 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 “edge” providers 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.