Early Reaction to Comcast/TWC…

The public interest group Public Knowledge has released a statement from John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney, on tonight’s Comcast/Time Warner Cable news…

Public Knowledge Statement on Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger

“Comcast cannot be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable. Antitrust authorities and the FCC must stop it.

“If Comcast takes over Time Warner Cable, it would yield unprecedented gatekeeper power in several important markets. It is already the nation’s largest ISP, the nation’s largest video provider, and the nation’s largest home phone provider. It also controls a movie studio, broadcast network, and many popular cable channels. An enlarged Comcast would be the bully in the schoolyard, able to dictate terms to content creators, Internet companies, other communications networks that must interconnect with it, and distributors who must access its content. By raising the costs of its rivals and business partners, an enlarged Comcast would raise costs for consumers, who ultimately pay the bills. It would be able to keep others from innovating, while facing little pressure to improve its own service. New equipment, new services, and new content would have to meet with its approval to stand any chance of succeeding.

“What’s more, it is simply dangerous for a large proportion of our nation’s critical communications infrastructure to be in the hands of just one provider.

“TV viewers, Internet users, and everyone who depends on a well-functioning communications marketplace would not benefit from an even more powerful Comcast. Fortunately, the regulators and law enforcement agencies who must approve a deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable are empowered to promote the public interest, not Comcast’s interest in empire-building. We call on them to protect the public and stop this deal.”


8 Responses to “Early Reaction to Comcast/TWC…”

  1. Need to get with your congress folks and take serious look into turning all telco-cableco into their most feared entity. Reclassify them all as “Common Carriers” and force them to open up all cables to your home to any comer to supply service and content.

  2. This will be a bad deal, especially for consumers. I have NO confidence that the government will do anything to stop this. This will be political and the head of Comcast is in the pocket of Obama (special guest at the State Dinner the other night) and his cronies. This is great for the Democrats because it gives them more control over what we see and hear. Especially in the biggest markets in the US – NY and LA.

  3. bushleaguer Says:

    If you merge two lousy cable companies, do you produce one big mediocre one?

  4. Grandpa Dave Says:

    The biggest advantage I see for Comcast is more bargaining power in Carriage Fee negotiations.

  5. the RELIABLE SOURCES reaction:

  6. SEN. AL FRANKEN BLASTS COMCAST – TIME WARNER CABLE DEAL, TELLS JAKE TAPPER: “There’s not enough competition. We need more competition significance, not less. This is going exactly in the wrong direction. And consumers are — I am very concerned are going to pay higher bills, they are going to get even worse service and less choice.” CNN.com/THELEAD

  7. CBS NEWS reported tonight that between them, Time-Warner and Comcast lost nearly five million customers since 2010. Jointly they only have 30% of the customer base and their coverages do not overlap, therefore they shouldn’t have a problem with the regulators in approving the merger. The potential for mischief comes from the fact they will cover 65% of the area of the country.

  8. The telecoms have about ten million subscribers and satellite thirty million. Inerestingly Netfix now approaches thirty million and for some people that, Amazon, or Hulu is all the video they feel they need or want to pay for. The big fear is that the merged Comcast will use its cable prowes to put the squeeze on such internet content providers to price their use of bandwidth out of advantaged competition. Comcast is committing to four years of open access, but expect them to exhaust every legal option after that to direct viewing to their own video sources.

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