updated 12:15 pm EDT, Wed March 19, 2014
Multi-state group to look at effect on broadband industry
Comcast and Time Warner Cable are facing more than just federal inspection of the merger between the pair. Reports are surfacing that Florida, Indiana, and other as-yet-unnamed states are looking at the transaction, in conjunction with the federal government effort by the US Department of Justice.
In an emailed statement to Reuters, the Florida State Attorney General's Office remarked that "we are part of a multi-state group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ (Justice Department) Antitrust Division." The email declined to mention the other states involved in the effort.
Indiana's effort is intended to evaluate "the potential impact" to that state. Both the multi-state effort, and Indiana's (if separate from the larger group) focus is more on the impact on broadband access, speeds, and cost more than the broadcast media aspects of the deal. Comcast believes that the merger doesn't effect competitive efforts, as the pair do not compete in any markets. Despite the claims, the merged company would hold about one-third of the US broadband market.
Despite 87 percent of the federal officials responsible for evaluating the merger having taken Comcast lobbyist money, there are still some vocal governental opponents of the merger. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) believes that the merger "will be bad for consumers of cable TV and the Internet. Consumers will end up paying more. There'll be less competition. There'll be less innovation and even worse service."