DOJ Quickly Answers Our Call To Block Comcast – Time Warner Deal

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You'll recall I sent letters to the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission on Monday urging that they block the proposed $45 billion Comcast- Time Warner deal.  Today — only three days later — I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response from the DOJ.

As I pointed out in my letters, the proposed deal is bad for consumers, not in the public interest and violates antitrust laws.  The deal would only line the pockets of fat-cat executives like Time Warner CEO Robert D. Marcus who will receive an outrageous $80 million “golden parachute” if the deal goes through.

Justice examines the proposed deal to see if it violates antitrust laws and the FCC decides if it is in the public interest.

"The Department appreciates having the benefit of your perspective," wrote Scott Scheele, Section Chief of the Antitrust Division's Telecommunications & Media Enforcement Section. "The Department of Justice is committed to protecting competition and consumers through vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws."

Scheele wrote that the Department can't comment on an active investigation, "Please be assured the Antitrust Division is conducting a comprehensive investigation of Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and its likely effect on competition and consumers."

He added that DOJ is "working closely" with the FCC on the case so that competition and consumers are protected in the marketplace.

Sure, it is the sort of polite, noncommittal, quasi-boilerplate response that one often receives from public officials, but what impressed me was the speed with which it was turned around — a response in only three days.

I can only hope the commitment to answering mail is a reflection of DOJ's commitment to "protecting competition and consumers through vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws"  and they will block the deal. Meantime, if you're as upset about the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal as I am, why don't you drop Justice a note, too.

John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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