Mergers are like marriages and sometimes all the related parties do not agree with the union. Since Comcast and Time Warner announced their proposed merger early last year, Netflix has publicly opposed this deal, calling the Comcast-Time Warner merger “anti-competitive.” Netflix has recently taken a more official step by submitting a Petition to Deny with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Also, sixty-five other organizations representing consumers and content producers have submitted similar notices of opposition.
In its petition, Netflix — which many industry watchers note already has created its own revolution in the broadcast world — argues that the merger would provide the proposed giant company monopolistic power with control over half the U.S. broadband in households. The proposed merger, Netflix also contends, would allow the new company to dominate the cable television industry, turning “a consumer’s experience into something that more closely resembles cable television.”
Moreover, Netflix says that streaming services (including it), will lose their negotiation power to pay for better streaming quality for its subscribers. Netflix is already engaged in contracts with the four biggest Internet Service Providers including Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, and recently a new deal was signed with Time Warner Cable for faster streaming after a kerfuffle over slowing of streaming content. But, Netflix claims the merger will allow the ISPs to impose higher prices for better Internet speeds.
Comcast and Time Warner, of course, have their own view about how their union would be favorable, arguing on a tailored corporate website that the joining of the two giant firms will bring customers “faster Internet speeds, a more reliable and more secure network, net neutrality protection, low-cost Internet access, and programming diversity to millions of new customers across the country.”