House Republicans Grill Comcast Over Plans to Merge With Time Warner Cable

Originally posted on Variety:

House Republican and Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about Comcast’s proposed combination with Time Warner Cable, including the possibility that the company would gain too much market power over the lineup of channels and programming over its systems.

The hearing before a House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee did not yield any major stumbling blocks that would put the merger in doubt. In fact, none of the lawmakers expressed outright opposition to the merger.

But even Republicans who described themselves as free-market purists expressed concerns over what the $45 billion transaction would mean for their cable bills and the availability of a diversity of programming options.

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) said that he did “not want to sound hostile to this merger,” but nevertheless expressed concern that new networks, like Univision Sports, would be able to get carriage, or that Comcast would have incentives to offer up one of its Houston sports channels…

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