Comcast head: Time Warner deal ‘not scary’

Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable is “not particularly scary,” according to Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen.

In an interview on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators,” Cohen said that the planned deal would be good for consumers and help the cable industry compete against satellite, telecoms and online video companies.

“We’re going to have a serious governmental review of the transaction, but I’ll be honest with you: I think the transaction is a lot less scary, it's a lot less large and a lot less complicated than some people would like to make it,” he said.

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The deal would combine the two largest cable companies, but executives have been quick to point out that the two giants do not currently compete in the same markets and Comcast has already pledged to drop some customers so that it takes up less than 30 percent of the market. 

“In no local market will there be any less choice after the transaction than there is before the transaction,” Cohen said.

Instead, the merger will help the cable industry build infrastructure, do research and invest for the future, in order to fight against satellite television, online video companies like Netflix and major telecom companies like Verizon and AT&T, he said.

“Most of those companies are bigger than we are,” he said. “They all have a larger geographic reach, most of them… This transaction is all about increasing completion, creating more consumer benefit as result of creating additional scale. That shouldn’t be scary to people.”

Critics have worried that the deal would too heavily consolidate the market and effectively give the company too much leverage in future business deals. 

The Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission are both slated to review the proposal. Cohen said that public paperwork will be filed in coming weeks.

On April 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the proposed merger, where Cohen will be testifying.