It looks like the government will be putting a stop to the merger of Comcast and Time Warner cable. The two internet and television giants have been discussing joining forces for several months now. Now the Federal Communications Commission has decided they want to put the merger in front of a judge. The general consensus is that by taking the idea to court, the FCC is trying to send a strong message that joining the two companies might not be in the best interest of consumers.
The deal is far from dead, but this is a serious speed bump in the potential merger, one that should slow things down considerably even if it doesn’t halt them completely. Now the ball is in the court of Time Warner and Comcast to convince the government and the judge that the $45 billion merger will bring good things to the American people and improve their service and experience rather than destroy it. Tech guru Ray Lane sees one thing and one thing only if the merger were to take place: monopoly (check out his blog on wsj.com). They also have to convince everyone that the merger wouldn’t create a huge monopoly over the cable industry, something that will be a pretty tough sell given that the two companies are the largest entities out there.