Welcome!

News Feed Item

DISH Network Petitions FCC to Deny Comcast Time Warner Merger

Citing irreparable harm to competition and consumers, DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deny the merger of Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, Inc. The petition to deny, available here, outlines, among other things, the critical role high-speed broadband plays in the video industry and the potential for the merger to significantly damage competitive development of over-the-top (OTT) video and limit consumer access to online video programming. Some key points from the petition on the following topics include:

MERGER PRESENTS RISK OF SIGNIFICANT HARMS:

p. 3

  • Choke Points on the Comcast/TWC Broadband Network: The combined Comcast/TWC would be able to foreclose or degrade the online video offerings of competing MVPD and OTT video providers at any of three “choke points”: (1) the points of interconnection to the combined company’s broadband network, in effect the “on ramp” to the Comcast/TWC network; (2) the last mile “public Internet” portion of the pipe to the consumer’s home; and (3) managed or specialized service channels, which can act as super HOV-lanes and squeeze the capacity of the “public Internet” portion of the Comcast/TWC broadband pipe.
  • Discriminatory Data Caps: The combined Comcast/TWC would be able to impose anti-competitive data caps on competing MVPD and OTT services. This could be done by exempting Comcast/TWC affiliated content from such data caps and then setting caps so low that consumers are incentivized to choose Comcast/TWC services over competing MVPD and OTT video services.
  • Programming Foreclosure: The combined Comcast/TWC would be able to foreclose access to, or raise the prices of, its own affiliated programming to harm competing MVPD and OTT services.
  • Restriction of Third-Party Online Rights: The combined Comcast/TWC would be able to coerce third-party content owners and programmers to withhold online rights from online video platforms, thereby stifling a crucial source of competition and innovation in the video industry.”

p. 26

“The rapid rise of broadband-powered online video services has been great for consumers. In many ways, we are in the Golden Age of video. But this Golden Age risks being cut short by the proposed transaction.”

p. 10-11

“Here, the public interest benefits the Applicants claim are unlikely and speculative. Further, the claimed benefits do not come close to outweighing the anti-competitive effects of the transaction, and the serious damage that will be inflicted on consumers if the merger is approved. The cost of “getting it wrong” is immense. If the Commission approves the merger under a set of conditions purportedly designed to alleviate the harms, and those conditions fail to work (which DISH strongly believes would be the case), competition and consumers would be irreparably and permanently harmed. The risks are simply too great here, and the only outcome that will serve the public interest is to deny the merger or designate it for hearing.”

p. 66

“The Applicants want the Commission to believe that they will not act on their incentive and ability to shut out video competitors by leveraging their control over broadband connections in an anti-competitive fashion. But too much is at stake here to “trust” the Applicants’ claims of benevolence. In this regard, past is prologue. As Comcast’s history shows, it has had no apparent qualms about engaging in anti-competitive conduct when the opportunity has arisen. There is little doubt that Comcast will do so again when foreclosure is even more profitable than today, and when its ability to engage in successful foreclosure is dramatically enlarged.”

OVER-THE-TOP VIDEO:

p. 28-29

“In DISH’s experience, large amounts of throughput are required to provide a typical household with HD video through the Internet. An HD video stream requires on average 5 Mbps of data throughput; a typical household could require 15 Mbps (5 Mbps x 3 TVs) for HD video alone. When added to a typical household’s other Internet and broadband usage habits, such as personal computers, Wi- Fi-enabled mobile devices, and “connected devices” (such as a home security system), another 5- 10 Mbps of throughput may be required to avoid degrading the television viewing experience. Thus, a typical household relying on the Internet to deliver all video therefore should optimally have no less than 25 Mbps in broadband connectivity. This means that 25 Mbps would be the minimum actual (as opposed to advertised) experienced speed provided to the residence in order to sustain, for example, a robust OTT video product capable of supplanting today’s traditional linear pay-TV service.”

p. 2

“High-speed broadband connections are the lifeblood of these new online services, and these connections will only become more important with each passing year. The services provided by DISH and other OTT video providers optimally require a household to have actual and consistent download speeds of at least 25 Megabits per second (“Mbps”). If approved, the combined Comcast/TWC would control 50 percent of the broadband pipes in the United States that have speeds of at least 25 Mbps. Most households will have no alternative to the combined company’s high-speed broadband pipe. Some will have one alternative at best. As companies such as DISH innovate and invest to meet the growing consumer appetite for broadband-reliant video products and services, this chokehold over the broadband pipe would stifle future video competition and innovation, all to the detriment of consumers.”

p. 39

“In sum, cable and fiber-based broadband are the only types of Internet access service capable of offering speeds of at least 25 Mbps consistently. Thus, if the merger is approved, the combined Comcast/TWC entity would not only pass almost two thirds of U.S. households, but would control 50 percent of the high-speed, high capacity U.S. residential broadband connections. Even at a more conservative threshold of 10 Mbps or faster as the relevant product market for broadband, Comcast/TWC would command more than 42 percent of the market. And, even at the abysmally low 3 Mbps cut-off proposed by Applicants, the merger would still result in the combined company controlling 35.5 percent of the market, which by itself would be sufficient to raise serious competitive concerns.”

PROGRAMMING FORECLOSURE:

p. 4

“Comcast will have a greater incentive to foreclose rivals from its NBCU programming. And, even more concerning, this transaction would remove a key rationale for the Commission’s approval of the NBCU acquisition. To defend that acquisition, Comcast argued that it would not foreclose its competitors from popular NBC programming because it would have to share the spoils with other operators—primarily with none other than TWC. The proposed merger would allow Comcast to pocket TWC’s profits, too, and create the incentive that Comcast itself said it lacked without controlling TWC.”

p. 83

“In particular, the combined Comcast/TWC—with its much greater scale than any other pay-TV provider—would also possess even more leverage than the two companies have now to: (a) acquire the most robust OTT distribution rights from third-party programmers in order to increase the appeal of its own video platform; and (b) restrict the ability of third-party programmers to grant online rights to competing OTT services, like DISH’s.”

p. 85

“The combined Comcast/TWC’s leverage over programmers may squeeze their margins, as Comcast/TWC uses its control over access to almost one-third of the nation’s MVPD households to push down the prices it pays for programming. This is a standard monopsony effect.”

About DISH

DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 14.053 million pay-TV subscribers, as of June 30, 2014, with the highest quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. Subscribers enjoy a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 250 company. Visit www.dish.com.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...