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
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
Given the popularity of the containers, further investment in the telco/cable industry is needed to transition existing VM-based solutions to containerized cloud native deployments. The networking architecture of the solution isolates the network traffic into different network planes (e.g., management, control, and media). This naturally makes support for multiple interfaces in container orchestration engines an indispensable requirement.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that’s no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, will explore how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He wi...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
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...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...