Hatch wary of government intervention on Comcast deal

WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), one of the top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned against too much government intervention in the potential Comcast-Time Warner merger.

“Absent clear evidence of market failure, consumers benefit when the government allows free markets to allocate resources in the most efficient,” way possible, Hatch said at a Senate Judiciary hearing. “Government regulators must be especially careful not to intervene unwisely in such a technology dynamic market.”

Hatch conceded that the merger “raises issues that deserve attention” but in response to his questions, Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen said the company faces a "fiercely competitive” broadband marketplace.

The company on Twitter posted a link showing that in each of the top 20 metropolitan areas, there are a dozen or more braodband options (excluding one that has no Comcast or Time Warner presence).

The competition has fueled "a virtuous investment cycle” Cohen said, including investments in faster modems and higher internet speeds, as he announced earlier Wednesday.

Previous coverage of today's hearing is here.

You can follow Tamari on Twitter or email him at jtamari@phillynews.com.