Washington Post backs Comcast merger

The Washington Post editorial board is calling on the Obama administration to approve and then monitor Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

"The government’s smartest move is not to block the merger, but to make clear that regulators will respond if big industry players begin to violate basic principles of market fairness," the board wrote.

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In an editorial published Monday, The Washington Post's editorial board noted the dueling arguments for and against the merger, which would combine the country's top two cable companies and is currently being considered by the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice.

While the companies argue that combining would allow them to better compete against Internet companies, the merger's critics say it would further consolidated a highly-consolidated market that stifles innovative competition and harms consumers.

Both sides overstate their cases, the Post's editorial board wrote.

"In the real world, the outlook for the future of communications and entertainment is foggier than either scenario suggests. That uncertainty recommends a degree of regulatory caution."

Regulators should allow the merger to go through but "keep a close eye on what cable companies, still huge players in how we communicate and consume culture, end up doing to competitors and upstarts — and to set clear conditions that allow a crackdown, if necessary," the editorial said.