Comcast and Time Warner try to convince the DOJ that competition is bad for consumers
Comcast and Time Warner Cable want to become one, and both companies will meet with Justice Department officials to find "potential remedies" to concerns about the proposed $45.2 billion merger, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The meetings come shortly after Bloomberg Business reported that antitrust lawyers at the Justice Department plan to advise against the merger "out of concern that consumers would be harmed" if the companies band together.
Funnily enough, both companies have recently made announcements that support the idea that maintaining some level of competition in the Internet market is better for consumers than allowing just one company to control it.
Time Warner Cable supported that idea by upgrading the connection speeds offered to consumers in Charlotte, North Carolina after Google announced the Google Fiber service would be expanding to the city some time later this year.
Some consumers' connections became six times faster because of the upgrade. Yet they won't have to pay more to access the improved service because Time Warner Cable feared they might switch to the cheaper and faster Google Fiber.
Comcast made a similar move last week when it announced that Gigabit Pro, a service offering connection speeds of up to 2 gigabytes per second, would debut to select consumers in the San Francisco Bay Area some time this summer.
So of the two companies hoping to make this merger a reality, one upgraded consumers to a better service without additional cost and the other announced a faster-than-gigabit service, all in an effort to combat increased competition.
It's a good thing for Comcast and Time Warner Cable that their lobbying money has been spread far and wide on Capitol Hill. Paying off politicians is the only way the argument that a combined company that can run roughshod over its competition is better for consumers won't be laughed right out of the room.
[illustration by Brad Jonas]