Today a coalition of conservative leaders sent a letter to Chuck Grassley and Mike Lee, ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and its Antirust subcommittee respectively.
The group of 11 signatories all came together to tell Senate Republicans their view of the role of government in the proposed Time Warner Cable/Comcast deal. They raise good points, and come to the correct conclusion that government needs to get out of the way.
Here are some highlights of the letter. First, they recognize that there is no national cable market. The cable market is broken into independent territories due to state and local regulations, creating franchised monopolies for cable. Comcast stands to improve service to current Time Warner customers.
Second, they point out that even as the Cable market is constrained by government, the overall Internet market is booming in competition.
Third, they point out that the transaction doesn’t even trigger the FCC’s established critiria for pay TV provider competitive red flags.
All around though, the most important point is that you can’t compartmentalize this stuff anymore. The video market isn’t just cable. It’s every form of video streamed into people’s homes. The Internet market isn’t just cable. It’s every form of Internet connectivity you can get these days.
For government to get involved here is a mistake. The coalition is correct, and the government should show some restraint here.