It’s hard to believe, but it sounds like American antitrust regulators have concluded that a merger between America’s two most hated companies is not in the public interest. Bloomberg is reporting that “staff attorneys at the Justice Department’s antitrust division are nearing a recommendation to block” the proposed merger, which would make it extremely unlikely that the DOJ would sign off on the deal.
Bloomberg’s sources indicate that the DOJ has been in touch with “outside parties” over the past few weeks to shore up its case against the merger. While the report doesn’t mention who these parties are, it would not shock us if Internet companies such as Netflix have been lobbying the DOJ to block the deal because they feel it will give Comcast too much power over last-mile infrastructure that connects its content with subscribers.
Comcast spokesperson Sena Fitzmaurice said that the DOJ would have no justification for blocking the proposed TWC merger because the deal will supposedly “result in significant consumer benefits — faster broadband speeds, access to a superior video experience, and more competition in business services resulting in billions of dollars of cost savings.”
Of course, many Comcast and TWC customers might dispute this. According to multiple customer satisfaction surveys, Comcast and TWC customers are among the least satisfied of customers of any company in the United States.