Comcast-NBC Universal: Everybody Loves a Fight!

If you haven’t been paying attention to the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, here’s a reason to: A good fight has broken out!

It starts with Mark Cooper, Director of Research at the Consumer Federation of America, who testified against the merger to the House Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet on behalf of CFA, Free Press, and Consumers Union.

The merger has so many anti-competitive, anti-consumer, and anti-social effects that it cannot be fixed,” says Cooper.

Cato Adjunct Scholar Richard Epstein lays into Cooper’s testimony with aplomb: ”Dr. Cooper has achieved a rare feat. The evidence that he presents against this proposed merger suffices to explain emphatically why it ought to be approved.”

And in a second commentary, Epstein ladles out another helping of humble pie to Cooper, concluding:

The cumbersome Soviet-style review process that Mr. Cooper advocates does no good for the consumers who he purports to represent. It only shows how far out of touch he is with the basics of antitrust theory as they relate to the particulars of the telecommunication market.

Maybe Cooper will have a rejoinder. But until then, I’ll just note that the best fights are the ones that your guy wins.