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Garcetti raises concerns about Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, breaking with other mayors



File: A Comcast sign is seen at one of their centers on Feb. 13, 2014 in Pompano Beach, Florida.
File: A Comcast sign is seen at one of their centers on Feb. 13, 2014 in Pompano Beach, Florida.
File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission has received tens of thousands of comments weighing in Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, including one letter from a group of 51 mayors — and another from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Those two letters offer starkly different views on the deal.

The letter from 51 mayors is signed by Comcast's hometown mayor, Philadelphia's Michael Nutter, as well as Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, among others. It strikes the tone of love-letter to the proposed deal.

"The combination of these two American companies will bring benefits to every affected city," the mayors gushed. "Time Warner Cable has been a responsible corporate citizen whose efforts will only be enhanced by joining forces with Comcast’s community investment programs."

In his letter sent Monday, Garcetti stopped short of opposing the merger, but he wrote that the FCC needs to put in place significant safeguards before it approves the deal.

"Without strong commitments to tangible benefits, there is a risk that the merged company may not deliver excellent products and services to Los Angeles consumers, or that the public interest will suffer," wrote Garcetti.

Among Garcetti's concerns:

In a letter also sent Monday, New York mayor Bill de Blasio struck a similar tone to Garcetti, warning that the FCC should be very careful approving the merger, especially because it could hamper low-income residents' access to broadband.

"A series of similar mergers has already reduced competition in the cable and broadband sectors, leaving Americans vulnerable to increasing rates and declining customer service," de Blasio wrote.

New York and L.A. are two of Time Warner Cable's biggest markets.