The interest groups and academics are already lining up to oppose the proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable by Comcast.
"Bad for America...scary," a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Susan Crawford, pronounces at Bloomberg View. (Bloomberg recently had to complain to the FCC about where Comcast was placing Bloomberg Television on its list of channels, as Matthew Keys tweeted).
"An affront to the public interest," harrumphed a former FCC commissioner, Michael Copps, who is now special adviser to Common Cause's Media and Democracy Reform Initiative.
The fear seems to be that the new cable colossus will use its market power to raise prices on consumers.
But consumers have options. I used to be a Time Warner Cable customer, but I dropped the service and now get my phone and data from Verizon and my television service from a combination of a broadcast antenna and streaming Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/YouTube (via the Verizon DSL line, and a "smart" TV connected to my home wireless network). The Bloomberg News article tries to argue that the issue isn't television but data service for businesses. Maybe, but it seems to me that the phone companies are still very much in that business. And that's not even mentioning the satellite-based TV or data providers.
The opponents of the deal don't seem to consider the possibility that a bigger cable company might actually mean lower prices for consumers, because the larger company will have more clout in price negotiations with programming providers. It seems to me that the market discipline of consumers dropping the cable service and moving to a combination of telephone (fiber, DSL, or wireless) or "rabbit ears" or satellite dishes is a more effective check on the cable companies' pricing power than any government disapproval of the merger would be.