LOS ANGELES Feb 21 Dish Networks Inc
Chairman Charlie Ergen said the proposed merger between Comcast
Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc will cause a
"seismic shift" in the media business and his company is
considering how to respond.
Ergen said the transaction would concentrate broadband,
video and content in a "nationwide player."
"That's going to send a seismic shift across our industry in
ways that maybe we can't predict today," he said on Friday on a
conference call after the satellite TV provider released
Dish is reviewing the deal's impact and will present options
to its board, Ergen said.
Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, said on Feb. 13 it
had agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal for
$45.2 billion. The proposal faces reviews from U.S. regulators
who will study its effect on competition.
Comcast has argued the combination would not reduce
competition because the two cable providers do not compete in
any markets. The company pledged to divest 3 million
subscribers, so the combined customer base of 30 million would
represent just under 30 percent of the U.S. pay television video
Ergen said the deal, if approved, "certainly doesn't hurt
the case for consolidation" of satellite TV providers. The U.S.
government blocked a proposed merger of Dish and rival DirecTV
"If you take the No. 1 and 4 providers and put them
together, it would be hard to see why you couldn't put the No. 2
and 3 providers together," he said.
A Comcast spokesman had no comment on Ergen's remarks.