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Competitors say Comcast, NBC merger could cost consumers $2B

By Cecilia Kang

The trade group American Cable Association released an economic analysis on Monday that purports that Comcast’s proposed merger with NBC Universal could result in $2.4 billion in extra costs to consumers over nearly a decade.

ACA represents small and medium-size cable service providers.

With no conditions to the merger, the combined cable and media giant would be able to use its sheer size for “unrestrained pricing power,” said the group, which has criticized the lack of conditions.

The commissioned report by former FCC economist William Rogerson said those costs would come from Comcast-NBCU potentially charging cable service rivals such as RCN, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision higher retransmission and other fees to carry NBCU content. The merger would also allow Comcast to charge higher fees to cable competitors who want the Regional Sports Network and other Comcast programming.

Comcast refuted the report’s findings, saying it used flawed data and contradicted available data.

“After having more than nine months to make its case, and after two prior attempts that we thoroughly rebutted, ACA is making an obvious attempt to further delay the approval of the Comcast NBCU transaction,” said Sena Fitzmaurice, a spokeswoman for Comcast. “ACA’s efforts should be rejected by the FCC on both substantive and procedural grounds.”

Other posts of interest:
Proposed Comcast-NBC merger ignited TV access battle

Comcast/NBC merger review expected to go into 2011

By Cecilia Kang  | November 8, 2010; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Comcast, Consumers, DOJ, FCC  
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Comments

I agree, except the estimate seems too low. Hopefully comcast will come to the realization that it cannot compete with the onslaught of online tv offerings like google tv, apple tv, TVdevo.com , etc...
These services offer a ton more. Eventually, the comcasts of the world will be diminished to just internet access services.

Posted by: meganbrod | November 9, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Cut the cord. Tell these Bozos (TM) to go to hell.

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/2010/08/26/tv_without_tv

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | November 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Cut the cord. Tell these Bozos (TM) to go to hell.

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/2010/08/26/tv_without_tv

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | November 9, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Cut the cord. Tell these Bozos (TM) to go to hell.

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/2010/08/26/tv_without_tv

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | November 9, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree, the estimate is too low. Comcast is basically going to fleese consumers of everything they can and keep their programs off the internet (except to people with Comcast internet). After a while consumers will get so fed up they start cancelling. Maybe then Comcast will wake up.

Posted by: mdembski1 | November 9, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow! $2.4 billion over "nearly" ten years. Why that's almost $250 million a year, or about $20 a year per subscriber. You probably spend more than that on lattes. Sounds so much worse when you put large numbers of people and many years into your estimate.

Posted by: Ex-Fed | November 9, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

If Comcast can find a way to increase revenues (and profits), they will do it. If the services they would provide through NBC match those I have experienced with their cable service, there will be one less network to compete with. This is a BAD idea for consumers.

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Posted by: goodlucky88 | November 9, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

NBC has suffered from poor business management and lack of programming creativity.

Comcast is hardly the one to change those deficiencies.

Posted by: BlanketyBlank | November 9, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

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