With their proposed merger on shaky ground, representatives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable are planning to meet with Justice Department officials in the hopes of negotiating a pathway for the deal to proceed.
This will be the first such meeting between the cable companies and regulators since the merger was announced.
The Wall Street Journal Reports that Comcast will likely offer concessions to assuage wary antitrust officials at the DoJ. From the WSJ:
The Wednesday meeting with antitrust officials could be the first of many, but it isn’t clear whether the companies can offer concessions that will satisfy regulators.
Looming over any discussion about merger remedies will be the concessions Comcast made in 2011 to win approval to acquire control of NBCUniversal. People familiar with the current review process say the Justice Department and the FCC have been examining whether Comcast has fully complied with those earlier commitments.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that antitrust officials at the Department of Justice were ready to recommend killing the merger, citing concerns that the two companies would create an entity that would ultimately be too large and harm consumers. The Federal Communications Commission is also looking into the merger, and has plenty of concerns of its own, according to reports.
Comcast’s official line is that the deal is not anti-competitive.
“Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable will ensure that a responsible and committed steward delivers advanced video and high-speed data services and innovation to these customers. The proposed transaction is pro-consumer, pro-competitive, strongly in the public interest, and approvable,” says the company.
Image via Steven Depolo, Flickr Creative Commons