The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from Comcast Executive Vice
President David Cohen and Time Warner Cable Executive Vice President
Arthur Minson on Wednesday.
Comcast, the No. 1 U.S. cable operator, has announced plans to buy
rival Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion. Both are major broadband
providers as well.
On the Senate panel will be Gene Kimmelman, head of Public Knowledge
which is one of the most vocal opponents of the merger. Kimmelman
was at the Justice Department's Antitrust Division when it approved
the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal and stopped AT&T's proposed
purchase of T-Mobile USA.
Comcast's proposed megadeal has raised eyebrows over the
concentration it would give the merged company in key U.S. media
To try to win approval for the deal, Comcast has pledged to divest 3
million subscribers so the combined customer base of 30 million
would represent just under 30 percent of the U.S. pay television
video market. A combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable would also
have roughly one-third of the high-speed Internet market.
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Another witness speaking to the Senate panel is James Bosworth from
Back9Network, an independent golf channel. The fifth witness is
Richard Sherwin from Spot On Networks, a managed Wi-Fi provider. The
sixth is Christopher Yoo, who teaches at the University of
Pennsylvania Law School.
The hearing is unusual in that the Judiciary Committee is holding it
rather than the committee's antitrust subcommittee, which is more
The proposed transaction is subject to approval by the U.S. Federal
Communications Commission and the U.S. Justice Department.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Andrew Hay)
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