Are Silicon Valley CEOs Endorsing Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal?
In an op-ed published Tuesday on Forbes.com, Guardino praised the deal and highlighted a few of its benefits, including faster speeds and better technology for Time Warner Cable subscribers. He also seemed to suggest (or at least the headline suggests) that a large number of Silicon Valley CEOs are in favor of the deal.
“In the final analysis, there seems to be nothing but upside in this deal. Customers will see no reduction in competition while gaining faster Internet speeds and more diverse programming choices. And U.S. leadership in the broadband Internet will be advanced,” Guardino wrote in a piece entitled “Silicon Valley CEOs Support the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger.”
Nowhere in the piece does Guardino mention that Comcast* is a member company. (Update: A spokesman for the group notes it’s mentioned in the op-ed’s tagline.) Netflix, a frequent critic of Comcast, is also a member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The company has “not (yet) taken a formal position on the deal and (is) still considering it,” said Joris Evers, a Netflix spokesman.
In response to questions from Re/code, the group said that the op-ed represents Guardino’s personal opinion and isn’t reflective of the organization’s members. Stephen Wright, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s senior vice president, confirmed that both Comcast and Netflix are current members and said there may have been some confusion about who was endorsing the deal because “some headlines/social media have been misleading.”
“Member companies regularly reach out to me to explain company initiatives,” Guardino said in an emailed statement. “In the case of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable transaction, the combined companies will benefit our members as TWC systems will get faster Internet speeds, innovative technology and increased investment. This is why I support this transaction.”
* Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is an investor in Re/code.