Monday, February 09, 2015
How do you communicate when a major merger has been frozen for a year by regulators? This is the challenge faced by Comcast in its effort to merge with Time Warner Cable. Comcast is working closely with regulators and has one of the largest lobbying operations in Washington DC, but it has yet to be able to move the combination forward. Now with new net neutrality rules being proposed, there is yet another strike against the companies getting together. Perhaps what is needed here is another grand bargain with the government that guarantees internet speeds to everyone within its market areas. This would impose a burden on both companies that might not be economic, but there needs to be something that breaks the ice jam. Otherwise, regulators are adept at studying an issue to death. They don't say no or yes but they do ask for more and more information. Each question begets a study and the study more studies, more financial data, more questions until one or the other side gives up. It takes character and desire to endure the process and courage to keep chipping at the resistance. I would have cut my losses and moved on.