Is the tide starting to turn inexorably against the hugely unpopular proposed Comcast–TWC merger? The Los Angeles Times brings us word that satellite TV company Dish has officially come out against the merger and has told the Federal Communications Commission that it should block the deal.
During meetings with the FCC this week, which were revealed by an official FCC filing, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen said that “there do not appear to be any conditions that would remedy the harms that would result from the merger,” which would present “serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video marketplaces and therefore should be denied.”
Dish also said that, because there are no longer any rules ensuring net neutrality protections, it couldn’t trust Comcast to treat all traffic on its networks equally and could essentially snuff out rival Internet-based video services.
“Comcast-TWC will have at least three ‘choke points’ in the broadband pipe where it can harm competing video services: the last mile ‘public Internet’ channel to the consumer; the interconnection point; and any managed or specialized service channels, which can act as high-speed lanes and squeeze the capacity of the public Internet portion of the pipe,” Dish said. “Each choke point provides the ability for the combined company to foreclose the online video offerings of its competitors.”
The folks at Dish aren’t the only ones who have been begging the FCC to block the Comcast-TWC deal, of course. Both Netflix and Time Warner Cable’s own customers have been petitioning the FCC to give it the ax. What’s more, opinion polls have consistently shown that letting Comcast and TWC merge has almost no public support, which means that the only people who seem to be in favor of the deal are the cable company execs who figure to make an absolute killing if it goes through.