| March 11
March 11 One of the top executives of
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has raised questions about
Comcast's potential dominance of the U.S. broadband
Internet market if regulators allow its $45.2 billion merger
with Time Warner Cable to be completed.
Speaking at an investor conference on Tuesday, Chase Carey,
Fox president and chief operating officer, said the "broadband
issue" will be front and center when U.S. regulators review the
tie-up that merges the No. 1 and No. 2 cable operators.
Asked about concerns over the merger, Carey said, "Probably
the issue that will come out of it, and that will ultimately get
focused on, is really the broadband issue. Is there choice in
broadband? Are you really headed toward every home having simply
one broadband provider, and what are the implications of that?"
If its bid for Time Warner Cable is approved, Comcast would
be the Internet provider to about 40 percent of U.S. households
paying for high-speed Internet access, analysts estimate.
As TV service becomes more personalized with new navigation
tools and targeted advertising, broadband infrastructure, and
who controls that service, will become even more critical, Carey
said. There has not been any pushback so far from companies
against the deal, he added.
"We haven't seen any filings yet and how does that get
addressed? I assume there will be aspects of that are
addressed," he said.
"Potentially, you may have for most of the country, simply
one wired broadband pipe and again that's the piece that will
get, at the end of the day, most focused on," he said.
Comcast did not immediately respond to a request for
Carey's comments come a week after Fox's deputy chief
operating officer James Murdoch said at another investor
conference that the deal is "clearly a big change in the
marketplace" and that Internet access and access for content
providers will be watched closely.
Once Comcast files its merger documents with regulators, the
Justice Department and the U.S. Federal Communications
Commission will both take months to review the merger's impact
on competition, focusing on antitrust and public interest