The reason for the additional costs is that the new combined firm would have tremendous pricing power as it marries its cable carrier operations with its content-producing business. The ACA opposes Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department approval of the transaction unless a number of restrictions are added.
"It is clear that the Comcast-NBCU deal will send monthly cable bills higher by billions of dollars over the next decade, underscoring ACA's view that regulators must protect consumers and competition from a transaction whose benefits are vastly outweighed by its harms. Without meaningful and cost effective conditions on the Comcast-NBCU transaction, regulators also run the risk of crippling effective competition in the pay-TV distribution market," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
The ACA goes on to suggest a series of restrictions on the Comcast-NBCU deal. These include a proposal that "All pay television providers, including bargaining agents, that cannot reach a mutual agreement with Comcast-NBCU for any of its programming may submit a dispute to binding baseball-style commercial arbitration."
While the study is not tainted, it may be biased by the fact that small cable networks acting in concert are attempting to block a deal that involves a much larger cable entity. It appears the NBCU deal will receive government approval, so their requests will likely go unheeded.