Comcast's Cohen to testify on merger
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold the first congressional hearing on the proposed $45.2 billion merger between Philly-based Comcast, the No. 1 U.S. cable operator, and its biggest rival, No. 2 provider Time Warner Cable.
Cohen is Comcast's top lobbyist and helped orchestrate the cable company's landmark acquisition of NBC Universal in 2011.
Comcast's proposed merger is subject to approval by the Justice Department, the anti-trust regulator, and the Federal Communications Commission, which reviews whether deals are in the public interest. The two reviews will be launched after Comcast formally informs the agencies about the merger plans.
The scope of Comcast's proposed deal with Time Warner Cable has raised concerns among consumer advocates, although the cable provider has pledged to divest 3 million subscribers, so the combined customer base of 30 million would represent just less than 30 percent of the U.S. pay television video market. A combined company would also have roughly one-third of the high-speed Internet market.
Comcast has said its purchase of Time Warner Cable would not take away any existing choices from consumers, and would instead lead to faster broadband speeds and serve businesses better.