(NEWSER– Comcast and Time Warner Cable say theirproposed merger into one massive cable company will help consumers. The deal "does not reduce competition in any market or in any way," insists Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Well so what, is a common refrain among analysts—competition is already so terrible that the assertion means little. A sampling:

  • Matthew Yglesias, Slate: "The merger proposed here will in effect turn two medium-size regional monopolists into a big sprawling monopolist. But in terms of consumer-facing competition, you're going from zero to two times zero."



  • Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times: This is about more than channel choices. "The more damaging consequence of the cable monopoly is in broadband Internet access, where the power of the cable firms' monopolies is magnified by the lack of practical alternatives to their Internet services." This deal would only make things worse.

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