New York State reviews Comcast-Time Warner merger

The proposed Comcast-Time Warner is drawing a lot of attention from federal regulators at the FCC, the DoJ’s antitrust division and elsewhere. But some states also have legal power to block or alter the deal – especially New York state.

According to Bloomberg News, “New York regulators have additional power due to a state law passed this year that requires cable mergers to benefit the public.”

New York’s Public Service Commission will vote October 2 on whether to impose a series of concessions Comcast must make to win approval. “The proposals,” wrote Bloomberg, “would require a post-merger Comcast to keep jobs in New York, offer faster broadband, improve customer service, expand in rural areas, and ease enrollment standards for a program that offers cheap broadband to poor families.”

New York is particularly crucial to the deal because the state is home to more than a third of Time Warner’s customers – subscribers Comcast is hoping to add to their already huge base.

Regulators in California – Time Warner’s second-largest subscriber base – are also reviewing the deal.

New York Flaunts Clout in Review of Comcast Deal (Bloomberg, Aug. 29, 2014)