Comcast Defends Deal

Response Prompted By Rep. Cárdenas' Announced Opposition

Comcast had plenty to say in response to Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who announced Wednesday he is strongly opposed to Comcast's merger with Time Warner Cable.

Cárdenas called the deal "a tipping point in the American media and broadband industries [that] would encourage a market that is not free, but one that limits innovation, diversity of programming and competition."

In a statement, Comcast outlined its argument for why the congressman is wrong. Here are some highlights of the 13-paragraph defense of the deal:

“The Comcast-Time Warner Cable transaction has undisputed benefits for consumers – including faster Internet speeds, better video products, broadband programs for low-income Americans, more competition for small businesses, and better diversity practices, including more diverse programming for consumers.

"As Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Alice Perez, president and CEO of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Dora Westerlund, CEO of the Fresno Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation wrote recently in the Fresno Bee:

"‘Comcast and TWC don’t compete against one another for customers, so the typical concerns about consumer harm that accompany most mergers are here unfounded. Rather, this is a trade: Californians get a company that has made industry-leading efforts to create opportunities for Latino companies and workers, invested in the fastest broadband networks and helped launch minority programming in exchange for a company that has not. On that basis it’s hard to see the downside of this deal for California’s Latino community.’

"We’re proud of our record in California. We have invested nearly $10 billion in the state since 1996. We’ve invested throughout the state, from our cable systems in Northern and Central California, to our innovation center in Silicon Valley, to NBCUniversal’s facilities at Universal City, which has been transformed into a state-of-the-art media and entertainment space. 

"With the Comcast-Time Warner Cable transaction, while we’ll be getting larger, we’ll actually have about the same number of video customers as we had about a decade ago.  Even when the two-companies are combined, we’ll serve less than 30% of the national video market – a level the courts have twice found does not cause issues for programmers in the marketplace.  That means 70% of video customers will be served by other competitors and operators. Today, our competitors Dish and DirecTV can reach nearly 100% of US homes – including nearly all Hispanic homes.  Other services like Netflix can reach any home in America with a broadband connection and already has millions more subscribers today than the Comcast-TWC combination will have. 

"We’re proud of the support we’ve received for the transaction from the Hispanic community, both from programmers and from national and local groups representing the community.

"Comcast is the nation’s largest provider of Latino and multicultural television packages, with a distribution platform that delivers more than 60 Latino networks in both Spanish and English. We have a proven track record with Hispanic customers offering the greatest programming choices in linear, digital, and on-demand platforms.

"We’re proud of the support of over two dozen Hispanic-affiliated groups from across the country who filed in support of our transaction at the FCC, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) – the largest and oldest Hispanic Organization in the United States.  In addition to the national organizations like LULAC, MANA, ASPIRA, The Latino Coalition, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, the Cuban American National Council, the National Latino Education Institute, the United States Hispanic Institute, and others – many local Hispanic organizations that we work with in communities from California to Utah to Florida to Massachusetts filed at the FCC detailing their work with Comcast in their communities and supporting this transaction.

"Most elected officials have strongly endorsed the Comcast Time Warner Cable transaction, based on the facts in the record, and ignoring inaccurate rhetoric promulgated by opponents of the transaction. For example, US Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and former Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have all noted that this transaction will lead to substantial public benefits and will not harm competition."