American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said in a statement that the trade organization of independent cable operators will carefully review Google's plans to pay $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility, a major supplier of set-top boxes to the cable industry.
"We're going to review the deal to understand the impact on the cable set-top box market, which has been a frustrating one for small cable operators long beholden to the Motorola-Cisco duopoly," Polka said. "For many cable operators, the question is whether Google's takeover of Motorola as one of only two major manufacturers will make things better or worse. ACA members will want assurances from Google that it is both committed to the cable business model and won't use its market power to run roughshod over smaller cable operators."
Google announced the deal on Aug. 15, saying it would run Motorola Mobility as a separate business. Google is deploying an Internet set-top strategy dubbed Google TV, which uses the Android operating system to bring Internet content and interactive features to TV sets.
"The future holds great promise for rural consumers as small cable operators explore IP- and cloud-based solutions in offering video to subscribers on TVs, PCs and mobile devices. Prior to today's Motorola Mobility announcement, Google has had its own interests in all of these areas, and it will be important that Google's other business interests do not unduly harm the growth of these new competitive market opportunities," Polka explained. "As the review of the merger advances, ACA looks forward to discussions with Google on these issues and other topics important to small cable operators that will expand consumer choice for products and services offered through traditional channels of communication and online."