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DOJ Review of Comcast-NBCU Good for the Companies

News reports that the DOJ, and not the FTC, will conduct the antitrust review of the Comcast-NBCU deal is a very good development for the companies. 

First, DOJ's filing to the FCC on the National Broadband Plan just this week showed that the DOJ clearly understands that the cable industry is competitive and that DBS competition has improved innovation, content choice, and customer service in the market, and that telecom competitive entry has provided pricing pressure to the cable market as well. (See pages 15 & 16 of the DOJ filing.) 

Second, that same DOJ filing shows that DOJ rejects the radical thinking of FreePress that competition must be commodity-like to be competition and that pricing should be based on incremental costs. If the DOJ does not agree with FreePress' approach to analyzing competition in the National Broadband Plan they are unlikely to agree with FreePress' approach to analyzing competition in this Comcast-NBCU merger review. Simply, DOJ does not analyze competition and antitrust like FreePress does. DOJ is professional and driven by the facts and the law -- not politics. 

Third, the DOJ merger review process, because it is overseen by a single antitrust enforcer/prosecutor and not a commission with additional consumer protection responsibilities, is a much harder process for FreePress to politically influence/manipulate than the FTC. 

In short, the assignment of the Comcast-NBCU deal to the DOJ for review is a good relative development for the companies because the process will be  more straightforward, efficient and predictable based on the antitrust merits and not on the standard negative political campaign tactics used by FreePress to manufacture political concerns that have no legal merit.   

This merger is not a threat to competition and it will be approved in due time.