WASHINGTON – Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen called his company a representation of the “American Dream” that grew from a small outfit in Mississippi to be in the entity it is today.
Acquiring Time Warner Cable, he told Senators at a hearing on the merger, will give more people Comcast’s better technology and faster internet, expand its program to help low-income families get broadband service and allow the company to innovate and compete.
“Comcast represents the American dream,” Cohen said. “If this transaction is approved, it will give us the scale and reach to innovate and compete against our national and global competitors.”
He opened by saying that “Comcast has a record of investment.”
He said the company has surpassed 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots and announced that it would increase its top internet speeds at no additional charge to customers.
Despite questions from public interest groups, he said the merger will not reduce competition, because Comcast and Time Warner don’t overlap.
“More investment, faster speeds, better technology, more Americans connected,” he said.
“The transaction will not result in any reduction in competition or consumer choice in any market,” Cohen added. “We won’t gain undue power over programmers.”
Cohen later faced a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) over his previous statements that bills would not go down and that increases may not even slow as a result of the Time Warner deal. Cohen said he was being honest – he can’t guarantee price drops --but that the deal would benefit customers.
“Whatever economic benefits are generated will ultimately inure to the benefit of consumers,” Cohen said. With so many options online and elsewhere, he said, consumers “are in the driver’s seat.”
With its on-demand video options, innovation to put video on portable devices, and commitment to helping low-income consumers, Cohen said, “I think consumers are the big winner in this transaction.”