• Questions Nobody Is Asking About the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

    by  • April 8, 2014 • Cable Choice • 1 Comment

    “How can the largest cable company in the country buy the second-largest and gain control over 19 of the country’s top 20 markets, 30% of cable, and 40% of broadband, and there be no serious questions?” asks David Carr of The New York Times.

    That is, indeed, the question, and Carr asks it, along with several others like, “Is the merger good for the American consumer?” Considering a Comcast executive has all but promised that cable and Internet prices will go up (and up and up) after the merger, the answer is “no.” Carr also discusses how the merger will crush competition and technical innovation, will restrict access to information through broadband, and ultimately, will leave American consumers in the power of a oligarchy which has no incentive to do what is best for the people. 

    Given the extensive lobbying power Comcast has in Congress (as previously detailed here), it is increasingly apparent that the monopolistic “robber barons” of the Gilded Age have nothing on the “media barons” of the Telecom Age.

    Don’t expect to hear any serious opposition to this merger, or even hear these questions asked, on television — not on Fox News OR on MSNBC. Because they are part of the same industry that stands to profit by mergers like this.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    One Response to Questions Nobody Is Asking About the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

    1. Tami
      April 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      I have struggled for years, trying to get Comcast to offer choice channels instead of forcing us to partake of indecent behavior on TV. Things we would not even allow in our homes are available to children and other household members. I have dropped cable, added it, changed in, at one time even had someone come to the box outside the house to block a channel (which isn’t done any longer – that was years ago). When I try to add parental control, it doesn’t work because the codes can be found out and there is still sometimes access to programs none of us should watch. By bringing this junk into our homes, we are paying for it. We have people that want cable, but are tempted by the junk on TV then end up watching it. We all agree that it shouldn’t come in the first place, but we can’t get our basic channels like HGTV, Food network, History channel, etc. without paying for all the junk – E tv, MTV, VH1, you name it. It’s there. Naked and afraid, modern family, etc., etc. I know there are smaller companies that do offer choices, like pick 15, or pick 5. I’d even pay for pick 15 when I only want 10, just to have the option to only pick 10 and not have the other 5. I think providers would be surprised at what we would pay for to get quality and substance, and not junk that we are tired of or don’t even want to watch. It’s really ridiculous.

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