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The Daily Dish

August 26th Edition

Burger King will have it their way, in Canada. The fast food giant will become the latest American company to move their headquarters after a merger or acquisition if talks go through to purchase the donut chain Tim Horton’s. Tax inversions allow companies to take advantage of other countries’ lower tax rates.

The attorneys general of 13 states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the premise that the proposed law to reduce carbon emissions omitted key information. According to The Hill, the letter details how “The agency excluded information from the EPA’s modeling, heat rate data from coal power plants and any technical information to support its rules for modified power plants.” This is the second lawsuit from individual states on the EPA rule.

Eakinomics: Mergers in Broadband– Guest Authored by Will Rinehart, AAF Director of Technology and Innovation Policy

Much has been said about the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (TWC) transaction, but not enough time or column inches have focused on the real market of interest, the innovative broadband ecosystem. Cheap computers, ubiquitous cell phones, and smart televisions have forced broadband providers to advance their speeds and to rethink their business models. In the first three years after the iPhone was introduced, data volumes increased nearly 8,000 percent, pushing wireless carriers to adopt the newest 4G technology. Converged competition is a new reality, which needs to be reflected in the merger analysis of Comcast-TWC.

As explained in more detail in our comments to the Federal Communications Commission, the current market realities are certain: there are few traditional horizontal (acquiring a competitor in same line of business) and vertical (merger of a manufacturer and a supplier) concerns in both paid TV and broadband Internet, the broadband market is extremely competitive, and the deal is likely to benefit consumers. While the future is far more uncertain, efforts by rivals like AT&T, Verizon, and Netflix in the converged television and broadband market continue to bode well for competition.

Just as important, regulators need to be cognizant of the merger’s impact on consumers and the competitive environment, by remembering the fundamental question of technology policy: should we regulate beforehand, deterring all the potential positive benefits of this merger, or regulate when/if there is actual consumer harm? This particular merger appears to be in the interest of the consumer, making the latter of these two possible courses of action the more sensible one.

From the Forum

Comments to FCC on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, AAF President, and Will Rinehart, AAF Director of Technology and Innovation Policy

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