Comcast Announces Plans to Merge With Time Warner Cable

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Comcast Announces Plans to Merge With Time Warner Cable

A $45.2 billion deal could see Comcast and Time Warner Cable, two of America's largest internet service providers, joined together.

It's not big secret that American internet kind of sucks. In addition to being slower than internet service around the rest of the world, it's also vastly more expensive. The problem, according to a number of experts, stems from the fact that whereas other countries benefit from a wealth of service providers, broadband internet in the United States is centered primarily in a small pool of massive companies that have pretty much monopolized the market.

Unfortunately, this lack of competition may soon be getting even worse. In an announcement today, Comcast revealed plans to buy out the stock of competing cable and internet provider Time Warner Cable. The deal, which will be worth as much as $45.2 billion, will leave Comcast in control of about 30 percent of the American market. Comcast in total would stand to gain about 8 million new customers. The question that emerges from this deal however, is whether or not the government will give it the okay.

Some suspect that Comcast's resulting massive market share could catch the eye of the FCC which may then put a halt to the deal to stop a potential monopoly situation. Some political groups, in turn, are already pushing for the government to act. "Comcast already owns NBC, MSNBC, Universal Studios and tons of cable networks," said Free Press's Craig Aaron in a release. "[This deal] means that for most of America, Comcast could control even more of what you see and how you see it." In truth, there would be some precedent for action. Back in 2011, for instance, the FCC helped put a stop to a similarly sized deal between cell service providers AT&T and T-Mobile. That said, some believe that Comcast and Time Warner Cable might be able to slip by thanks to the fact that they were never direct competitors in the past. Sources close to Comcast have also indicated that the company may voluntarily divest as many as 3 million subscribers should the size of the deal become an issue.

Source: CNN

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The fact that they -have- that much money to throw around scares me. What have they been doing with it all? Definitely not improving infrastructure or investing in better technologies.

Time Warner recently replaced my old ISP (Insight) and I've not been too pleased with them. Especially after their recent announcement that they would not be improving their speed due to lack of demand, with the merger my hopes of ever getting faster internet is slowly going away.

Source for Time Warner comment:
http://bgr.com/2014/02/12/time-warner-cable-internet-speeds-denial/

Yayyyy, corporate oligarchy!
We can go back too the wonderful world of monopolization of services!
Who needs choices? Who needs service discounts? If there's only one choice, it just makes everything easier! ;D

Oh god please don't let this happen. Time Warner Cable is shit as it is

This is the modern face of capitalism; a few megacorps that rule everything and are too big to compete against.

Alpha Maeko:
The fact that they -have- that much money to throw around scares me. What have they been doing with it all? Definitely not improving infrastructure or investing in better technologies.

It's not money, it's with $45.2 billion worth of Comcast stock that they are offering to TWC shareholders.

Comcast has $1.7 billion cash out of $14 billion of current assets plus $44 billion debt (TWC is even worse in assets with $23 billion of debt.

Comcast's net income for 2013 was $6.8 billion on $64.6 billion revenue.

'Merica: Where Big-Business Runs You!

You guys need to change your laws, and fast. Seriously, call your representatives and tell them about every little thing that pisses you off. Tell them you're willing to pay more taxes for more government control. It's the lesser of two evils.

Yeah, the apocalypse is nigh. This merger of these two huge companies prophesies the end of days. I wish I was kidding.

Greg

For a country that talks of freedom, we sure don't seem to have a whole lot of it.

At least the Europeans name their outdated, overly rich, as Kings and Queens.
They're more honest about it.

This wouldn't be a problem outside of the US if the US wasn't so hellbent on telling the rest of the world how to use the internet. We should just sever all ties with that redneck fuckin' continent and let them drown in their crony capitalism so the rest of us can prosper.

Alpha Maeko:
The fact that they -have- that much money to throw around scares me. What have they been doing with it all? Definitely not improving infrastructure or investing in better technologies.

Well, that's why they oppose building infrastructure or providing customer service. It means less gold for their dragons to sleep on.

balfore:
Time Warner recently replaced my old ISP (Insight) and I've not been too pleased with them. Especially after their recent announcement that they would not be improving their speed due to lack of demand, with the merger my hopes of ever getting faster internet is slowly going away.

Source for Time Warner comment:
http://bgr.com/2014/02/12/time-warner-cable-internet-speeds-denial/

Comcast has been increasing speed in a lot of regions, evidently, so you may get that. However, consider they frequently vye with EA for the coveted Golden Poo and are one of the most reviled companies in America.

Greg Tito:
Yeah, the apocalypse is nigh. This merger of these two huge companies prophesies the end of days. I wish I was kidding.

Greg

I'm still hoping the merger gets shot down. The two companies had to get special permission to devour Adelphia because it made them a duopoly (and they've spent their time since in a non-competitive state). Separately, they own almost two-thirds of the market (which may have grown since the last time I wrote about them). This can be blocked multiple ways, but it probably won't.

Tanis:
For a country that talks of freedom, we sure don't seem to have a whole lot of it.

At least the Europeans name their outdated, overly rich, as Kings and Queens.
They're more honest about it.

They are free to buy up everything. We are free to like it or GTFO. That's what freedom means, right? >.>

Greg Tito:
Yeah, the apocalypse is nigh. This merger of these two huge companies prophesies the end of days. I wish I was kidding.

Greg

There is so much truth in this it's not even funny. Right now what with the US being in an Oligopoly when it comes to the ISPs, the merger of 2 of the largest ones in the nation will result soon into a monopoly. The comparisons I made with the Bell Telephone company seem to be coming more and more true. So if it does turn out like that, then in 20-30 years the Supreme Court will end up breaking it apart...with hope.

The modern face of capitalism is quite the sad one.

balfore:
Time Warner recently replaced my old ISP (Insight) and I've not been too pleased with them. Especially after their recent announcement that they would not be improving their speed due to lack of demand, with the merger my hopes of ever getting faster internet is slowly going away.

Source for Time Warner comment:
http://bgr.com/2014/02/12/time-warner-cable-internet-speeds-denial/

Comcast did the same thing to Insight in my area. They're basically two sides of the same coin forged in the bowels of hell. The FCC better fix net neutrality. It was working fine until some court with possible ties to ISPs fucked it right up. Now Hulu and Neflix are getting hit by Comcast's and Verizon's greed just as predicted.

But remember, any attempt to step in and deal with this is SOCIALISM! Just let the free market sort itself out. The free market is completely and utterly infallible, and will always work. Because reasons. Something something invisible hand something something vote libertarian something something.

There. Now nobody else needs to bother playing Devil's Advocate.

In all seriousness, this isn't good. It should be stopped, but it's going to happen anyway.

Maybe it's because I live in NJ... but my internet doesn't suck at all. I would like to pay a little less, but I'm pretty much happy with it. The US National average has gone up every year (as I'm sure it has everywhere), so it's not like it's not been improving. The thing that brings it down is the massive amounts of non-metropolitan area in the US... which is what people in those regions actually like (I feel for the youth).

I love articles like this... they mistakenly make it sound like the US has such terrible things as "not the fastest internet in the world". We sit at number 13 this year so far it seems... out of more than 193 countries around the world. I'm not saying don't try to improve it, but lets not make out like life in America is the worst thing ever because we don't have the fastest internet. It's all about perspective.

The average peak speed is more than double the world average. Even sitting at a little less than half the speed of Hong Kong, we are not slouching by any stretch of the imagination. In 2011 our national average speed was 7.1 Mbps, now it's 37.1 Mbps... Yeah, I'm over it. Cry some more why don't ya.

Alpha Maeko:
The fact that they -have- that much money to throw around scares me. What have they been doing with it all?

This, my friend. Even if Google is another mega-corporation at this point, it seems that they actually want people to enjoy their internet. I can wait for them to get enough infrastructure to actually begin competing.
image

Adam Jensen:
This wouldn't be a problem outside of the US if the US wasn't so hellbent on telling the rest of the world how to use the internet. We should just sever all ties with that redneck fuckin' continent and let them drown in their crony capitalism so the rest of us can prosper.

Disparage a whole continent based on a stereotype? That certainly seems to lack good nature or character. What's more, the idea that your country could somehow cut itself off from a whole continent, especially when said continent has the country with the biggest economy on the planet, falls somewhere between misguided and hilariously absurd. But hey, let's not even wait to see if the U.S. government does its job and uses the existing regulation to stop the merger, let's just call a bunch of people rednecks and offer up hyperbole instead!

Well oddly enough I remember those two names from people talking about them, and from everything I heard they are the worst ISPs to exist in US.

So what will this ungodly merger form exactly... internet hell I can only roughly imagine.

Mr.K.:
Well oddly enough I remember those two names from people talking about them, and from everything I heard they are the worst ISPs to exist in US.

So what will this ungodly merger form exactly... internet hell I can only roughly imagine.

Comcast has over 20 million users and TWC has over 10 million customers all the other cable companies have 5 million or less each so it's not really surprising that the 2 biggest get the most flak.

Gorrath:

Adam Jensen:
This wouldn't be a problem outside of the US if the US wasn't so hellbent on telling the rest of the world how to use the internet. We should just sever all ties with that redneck fuckin' continent and let them drown in their crony capitalism so the rest of us can prosper.

Disparage a whole continent based on a stereotype? That certainly seems to lack good nature or character. What's more, the idea that your country could somehow cut itself off from a whole continent, especially when said continent has the country with the biggest economy on the planet, falls somewhere between misguided and hilariously absurd. But hey, let's not even wait to see if the U.S. government does its job and uses the existing regulation to stop the merger, let's just call a bunch of people rednecks and offer up hyperbole instead!

Right. A government that deregulates for the sake of corporations is suddenly going to regulate for the sake of the people. I wouldn't count on that, my misguided friend.

And since in your final words you managed to acknowledge my use of hyperbole, might I inquire to what end was your initial critique?

Adam Jensen:

Gorrath:

Adam Jensen:
This wouldn't be a problem outside of the US if the US wasn't so hellbent on telling the rest of the world how to use the internet. We should just sever all ties with that redneck fuckin' continent and let them drown in their crony capitalism so the rest of us can prosper.

Disparage a whole continent based on a stereotype? That certainly seems to lack good nature or character. What's more, the idea that your country could somehow cut itself off from a whole continent, especially when said continent has the country with the biggest economy on the planet, falls somewhere between misguided and hilariously absurd. But hey, let's not even wait to see if the U.S. government does its job and uses the existing regulation to stop the merger, let's just call a bunch of people rednecks and offer up hyperbole instead!

Right. A government that deregulates for the sake of corporations is suddenly going to regulate for the sake of the people. I wouldn't count on that, my misguided friend.

And since in your final words you managed to acknowledge my use of hyperbole, might I inquire to what end was your initial critique?

Insulting stereotypes steeped in hyperbole are insulting stereotypes nonetheless. If the target of your insulting stereotype had not been such an easy one (making crude remarks about the fitness and intelligence of my countrymen is rather en vogue), I doubt I'd be the only one saying anything about it. So, to answer your question, my critique of your comments is the same critique I'd have leveled at you if you'd referred to the people of Africa using a racial slur and then tried to hide behind hyperbole as a reason why it's okay to do so.

As for your presumption that the government won't prevent this merger, I need only point you to the article above, which specifically talks about how a similar merger was prevented for similar reasons. While this does not guarantee the FCC will do the right thing again, it does suggest that one should perhaps pause and wait for the outcome before succumbing to hyperbolic statements and insults aimed at a whole continent of people.

Gorrath:
As for your presumption that the government won't prevent this merger, I need only point you to the article above, which specifically talks about how a similar merger was prevented for similar reasons. While this does not guarantee the FCC will do the right thing again, it does suggest that one should perhaps pause and wait for the outcome before succumbing to hyperbolic statements and insults aimed at a whole continent of people.

I've been watching a lot of Deadwood lately and sometimes I feel like my personality's been violated by 19th century gold rush lingo. Mostly swearing and cynicism aimed towards the powers that be.

Ah, hey, Feds? You want to get back on working out that whole "Network Neutrality" issue? Like, now?!

If you guys want truly abhorrent Internet, come visit any part of Australia that is more than 10kms outside one of our state capitals. You will go from 1-2mb down to 500-750kb with semi frequent disconnects. Once you experience this, then you will have the right to bitch about how bad your internet service is.

Well, great. The company that had the worst customer-service rating in the country (beating out even the IRS) twice in the space of four years ('04 and '07) wants to take over my ISP, which already has problems.

I wonder what kind of bandwidth I can get from two cans and a string....

Adam Jensen:

Gorrath:
As for your presumption that the government won't prevent this merger, I need only point you to the article above, which specifically talks about how a similar merger was prevented for similar reasons. While this does not guarantee the FCC will do the right thing again, it does suggest that one should perhaps pause and wait for the outcome before succumbing to hyperbolic statements and insults aimed at a whole continent of people.

I've been watching a lot of Deadwood lately and sometimes I feel like my personality's been violated by 19th century gold rush lingo. Mostly swearing and cynicism aimed towards the powers that be.

Fair enough friend, and I'd like to be clear that my critique was not meant to come off like sneering holier-than-thou condescension either. I've nothing but good will toward the people I converse with, even if I'm lambasting them on a position where I think they've erred. Cheers.

Alpha Maeko:
The fact that they -have- that much money to throw around scares me. What have they been doing with it all? Definitely not improving infrastructure or investing in better technologies.

Buying politicians.

008Zulu:
If you guys want truly abhorrent Internet, come visit any part of Australia that is more than 10kms outside one of our state capitals. You will go from 1-2mb down to 500-750kb with semi frequent disconnects. Once you experience this, then you will have the right to bitch about how bad your internet service is.

Err wrong, at least the 1-2mb part, I'm in South Sydney (about 30km from the CBD) and I have 100mb/s. Stop spreading the crap about shitty net service in Australia. That's not to say there isn't shit areas, but it is a large continent with few people, can't be surprised that the areas outside of the city aren't the fastest. The NBN had better not be cancelled by Abbott though.

Oh gee i can only see this ending well/sarcasm. First time warner bought out the local internet company where I live "Insight communications" which covered most of northern Kentucky and southern Indiana. They did a price hike of 42 dollars month for basic internet to 62 dollars and now if comcast takes over here comes the data caps. All I can say is YAY!!!!

RicoADF:
Err wrong, at least the 1-2mb part, I'm in South Sydney (about 30km from the CBD) and I have 100mb/s. Stop spreading the crap about shitty net service in Australia. That's not to say there isn't shit areas, but it is a large continent with few people, can't be surprised that the areas outside of the city aren't the fastest. The NBN had better not be cancelled by Abbott though.

1- South Sydney still counts as Sydney.

2- Cancelling the NBN was one of Abbott's big campaign promises.

This is going to just get worse since they have so much influence in the FCC and in the lobbyist... I mean look when they bought NBC in 2011 and when the FCC finally said it was ok and not a monopoly the chairman of the FCC at the time left the job and became a senior vice president at Comcast... Rules and regulations don't seem to apply at all anymore for these giants... Corporate greed plus corrupt politicians and corrupt government workers will be the thing that ruins this country if nothing is done soon if it hasn't already damaged enough as is...

rcs619:

Alpha Maeko:
The fact that they -have- that much money to throw around scares me. What have they been doing with it all? Definitely not improving infrastructure or investing in better technologies.

Buying politicians.

That and giving lofty posistions to the so called regulaters after they give them what they want when they are suppose to keep corporations from becoming a huge monopoly in the first place... Example is when Comcast bought out NBC the FCC Chairman at the time had the final say to ok it or not and after it went through she quit her job and became a vice president in Comcast...

First off let just make it clear, Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Time Warner Inc (Media) are two separate companies and have been for years. Time Warner Cable hardly owns any media companies, they are mainly a telecom company. Time Warner Cable did go into some debt, but recently had a couple profitable quarters. Time Warner Cable cable is only valuable because it has the New York City and Los Angeles Markets

Both Time Warner Cable and Comcast are government sanctioned monopolies on cable systems. They are not monopolies on Media, Internet, or Phone. Comcast and Time Warner Cable are not competitors. They do not operate in the same markets.

Both companies have very similar corporate structure and identities.

This does give an advantage with Media buying powers: Lets take for instance Disney charges $5.05-$5.30 for ESPN channel per month, per customer. Having more customers gives the service provider more power to negotiate when the contract is up with Disney.

Realistically, there will be little change for customers.

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