Comcast hits back at merger critics

Comcast is firing back at a coalition of industry and advocacy groups critical of its $45 billion merger proposal.

The cable giant this week issued a formal retort to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing from the Stop Mega Comcast coalition, which was launched in December to urge regulators to kill the deal. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“Like a lot of the work of this group, this latest attempt was just a series of what can charitably be called factual inaccuracies,” Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice wrote in a blog post.

In their filing earlier this month, the anti-merger coalition warned the FCC that its tough new net neutrality rules would not dispel the potential harms that would emerge from approving the merger of the nation's two biggest cable company, and told regulations that “no set of conditions can alleviate” their concerns.

In a response filed on Wednesday, Comcast accused the group of repeating “tired arguments” that its members have been making for months. 

“In short, this ‘white paper’ is simply a compilation of invective, unsupported and unsupportable economic and legal theories, and a hodgepodge of self-contradictory predictions,” it retorted. The deal would bring “enormous benefits” to many consumers, it added.

In a counterpunch of its own, the Stop Mega Comcast coalition said that the company ”is yet again creating a fantasy world where it has never flaunted regulations, thwarted competition or mistreated customers.”

“The record demonstrates that the merger threatens serious harms to competition and consumers and runs counter to antitrust and communications laws,” it added.

The new back-and-forth comes amid heightened scrutiny on the deal and increased speculation that regulators may end up blocking the deal. 

The deal is currently on day 164 of an internal FCC “shot clock” for review, and executives have hoped for approval early this year.

 

— Updated at 6:02 p.m.