The New York Times’ editorial board has joined opponents of the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, saying the joined companies would become “a gatekeeper over what consumers watch, read and listen to.”
Comcast’s $45 billion acquisition still requires federal approval. Opponents say the deal would give one company too much power over the country’s cable and internet — arguments echoed by the newspaper.
The Times noted that the company would gain control of cable TV for nearly 30 percent of U.S. homes and high-speed internet for 40 percent.
“The company would have more power to compel Internet content companies like Netflix and Google, which owns YouTube, to pay Comcast for better access to its broadband network,” the Times argued. “There are also worries that a bigger Comcast would have more power to refuse to carry channels that compete with programming owned by NBC Universal, which it owns.”
The Times noted that federal regulators could try to set controls on the company by imposing conditions like those placed on Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2011. But the paper said the merger would still “fundamentally change the structure of this important industry and give one company too much control over what information, shows, movies and sports Americans can access on TVs and the Internet.”
Comcast did not immediately respond to a request for comment.