Watchdogs Concerned About Impact Of Comcast-Time Warner Deal - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Watchdogs Concerned About Impact Of Comcast-Time Warner Deal

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Industry watchdogs are concerned that Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable will give the company too much power, and ultimately raise the price of high-speed connections.

But Comcast -- which was already the nation's number-one pay TV and Internet provider, says the purchase will provide faster, more reliable service to more customers, and save money on TV programming costs.

If the $45 billion deal is approved, Comcast will serve some 30 million pay TV customers and 32 million Internet subscribers.

Craig Aaron, who heads a public-interest group that focuses on the media industry, says cable companies are "the only game in town" in most places, when it comes to getting the fastest-available Internet connections. And he says he wouldn't anticipate prices going down as a result of this deal.

And Bert Foer of the American Antitrust Institute asks, "How much power over content do we want a single company to have?"

Comcast says it will continue to operate under conditions the government imposed when Comcast acquired NBCUniversal -- including a requirement that it provide standalone Internet service without tying it to a pay TV package. The company's CEO says those conditions will continue "for many years" -- but he won't speculate on just how many.

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