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Cable merger meeting draws small crowd

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The $45 billion purchase of Time-Warner Cable by Comcast circled through the heavily wired UB North Campus for a public hearing Monday night, as the Public Service Commission considers the New York piece of the deal.

The PSC has jurisdiction over some of the vast deal because it regulates cable service and telephone service and both are part of the proposed takeover. The commission will hold a similar hearing tomorrow in Albany and Thursday in Manhattan.

There will be all sorts of internal deliberations inside the agency, with a hard deadline date of September 15. By law, decisions on cable deals need to be made within 120 days of application.

PSC Commissioner Gregg Sayer says his agency has been increasingly getting a piece of the action for New Yorkers in these large mergers.

"Particularly the conditions that the commission imposed on Fortis when it merged and took over a mid-state electric utility. And, the commission imposed quite a number of conditions on Iberdrola when it bought RG&E and NYSEG," Sayer said.

There were supporters of the takeover and opponents, Supporters saying Comcast is a very good corporate citizen with good relationships in the larger community; opponents attacked making large telecom companies larger when the focus should be on existing companies improving existing services.