The staff attorneys at the antitrust division of the US Justice Department are approaching a recommendation to block the USD 45.2 billion merger proposal between Comcast Corps. and Time Warner Cable Inc., according to the reports.
The report cited sources familiar with the matter saying, the attorneys probing the merger proposal are highly concerned that such an agreement between the two majors would harm consumers’ sentiments.
The attorneys are expected submit their review against the merger proposal as early as next week, sources said. Senior officials will take the final decision on the multi-billion-dollar merger deal.
Downplaying the reports, a TWC spokesperson said that the company has been productively working with both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“We’ve had no indication from the DOJ that the report is true,” the spokesperson said.
A Comcast spokesperson has said that the proposed merger deal would result in ‘significant consumer benefits.’
The proposed merger of the two cable television giants has drawn criticism from the Comcast competitors and groups opposing media mergers.
A group of companies, associations and public interest groups on Friday moved FCC to oppose the deal between the top two cable television operators.
In a letter to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler, the groups wrote: “The combined company would, among other things: control over half of the high-speed residential broadband connections in the United States; dominate pay-TV across the nation; combine even stronger distribution muscle with NBC-Universal’s ‘must-have’ video programming; and control critical advertising and set top-box inputs. The Commission should reject this merger because it would result in too much power in the hands of one company.”
The proposed collaboration of the two cable television majors has been under extreme scrutiny since it was announced last February.
If the deal is strike between both the parties, Comcast would become the leading cable and internet provider in the US.