When Cohen attacks: Comcast exec lays into merger critics at commentary deadline

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By Daniel Frankel 

With the FCC’s commentary period for its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) ending at midnight Wednesday, and Comcast set to release a document responding to the deal’s critics, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Executive VP David L. Cohen teased the tone of the pending release in a blog post.

The general theme: harsh.

Wrote Cohen in Tuesday’s post: “In addition to noting the supportive comments by tech companies, independent programmers, diversity groups, advertisers, business organizations, community partners, academics, and state and local leaders, our reply comments will respond to the arguments made by competitors like Dish (which is able to reach almost 100% of American video homes), by large programmers like Discovery Communications (the self-proclaimed “#1 Pay-TV Programmer in the World” and a $25 billion company, that has grown by $10 billion in market capitalization in just three years), Netflix (the country’s largest subscription video provider with 36 million domestic customers and controller of a third of Internet traffic), advertising aggregating competitor Viamedia (which takes a position that contradicts the strong support of the only advertisers who have filed in the transaction docket), and the usual “big is bad” groups (whose predictions of doom and gloom for every large transaction in the cable space since the 1990s have never come to pass).”

Cohen added: “The Writers Guild of America West, an opponent of the transaction, acknowledges we are in a “Golden Age of Television.” And the investment made by companies like Comcast in broadband has allowed an explosion in innovation and new products and services. More and more competition has come into every market, and the “sky is falling” predictions of entities like Consumer’s Union, Consumer Federation of America, and Free Press haven’t been accurate in the past–and ring no more true today. We look forward to sharing our reply comments in this space tomorrow morning after they are filed with the FCC tonight.”

Comcast’s several-hundred-page response is expected to be released Wednesday.

For more:
– read this Comcast blog post

Related links:
Roberts: Comcast now has ‘that Silicon Valley vibe’
Comcast-TWC input period ends: 64K comments received, 65 groups urge rejection
Comcast’s Cohen to regulators: ‘Don’t make us the next Blockbuster’

Read more about: David L CohenComcast

Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer
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