The proposed Comcast-NBC Universal merger pits the nation's biggest cable operator against 900 or so midsized and smaller operators concerned about the combined media company's market power.
While the American Cable Association, the small operators' trade representative, stopped short of opposing the deal outright, ACA president Matt Polka was unimpressed by the public interest conditions offered up by Comcast.
"Applying a Band-Aid to an ax wound is hardly a solution," Polka said in a statement Thursday. "Comcast's proposed concessions designed to gain regulatory approval will not achieve the important goal of alleviating all the serious harms that this transaction would cause consumers of small cable and broadband operators."
Polka called for broad government intervention, whether that is in the form of a forced divestiture or conditions "to prevent the new programming giant from using its enhanced market power to raise prices and limit choices for consumers of small and medium-sized cable and broadband operators."
ACA is concerned the new company will drive up the price to operators of its TV station signals and must-have programming like sports.