In what would create the largest corporate "behemoth" in the history of the telecommunications industry, cable giants Comcast and Time-Warner on Thursday announced agreement of a $45 billion merger that critics say would be a disaster for consumers.
The deal, if approved by regulators, would see Time-Warner, currently the second-largest provider in the U.S., absorbed by its larger rival Comcast in an all-stock agreement. The merger would give Comcast nearly 30 million paying subscribers, roughly a third of the entire U.S. cable market.
Critics, like executive director of the media watchdog group Free Press Craig Aaron, say that though this deal might be good for the corporate titans involved, it will be a disaster for cable customers everywhere.
"In an already uncompetitive market with high prices that keep going up and up, a merger of the two biggest cable companies should be unthinkable. This deal would be a disaster for consumers and must be stopped," said Aaron in a statement.
"Americans already hate dealing with the cable guy — and both these giant companies regularly rank among the worst of the worst in consumer surveys. But this deal would be the cable guy on steroids — pumped up, unstoppable and grasping for your wallet."
In order to gain approval, the companies will have to get their agreement past both the FCC and the Department of Justice regulators where concerns over monopoly control of the industry will likely be central to the debate.
According to Aaron, approval of the deal would give Comcast "unprecedented market power over consumers and an unprecedented ability to exert its influence over any channels or businesses that want to reach Comcast's customers."
"Unless the Department of Justice and the FCC do their jobs and block this merger," he said, customers can expect less choice, worse service, and higher bills.
Please sign all 3 petitions listed and feel free to add more. Also if you will please share the petitions with friends, neighbors, relatives. This is (or was) our Internet, it's becoming a monopoly of the giants and we will lose this most important access to information.
Thursday February 13, 2014, 10:10 pm
Stop the Comcast/TimeWarner Cable merger and require more competition in the cable industry
Thank you for signing this petition
Total signatures on this petition 4,140
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Mega-Merger!
Current petition signers #7 AniMaeChi
Friday February 14, 2014, 1:06 pm
Decades ago the government broke up Bell Telephone calling it a monopoly. It is even worse now and everything is being monopolized. I wish the government would step in and break up these monopolies. I have Comcast and it is very expensive already, no movie channels. Don't have time for them anyway. I hope someone starts petitions for breaking up these monopolies, like the oil industry, the telephone company, and now the internet and cable service, the electrical service and water service and home heating gas, just to name a few. They all need to be broke up. Will sign them now, thanks, my friend.
Friday February 14, 2014, 1:58 pm
Noted. Thanks, Kit. Already signed them previously. Comcast is just raking in the money. They're "the only game in town" here for us. The monthly payment we had was the "highest tier" for unlimited data. Then, they changed it and capped the data a few months ago, and are now charging extra for exceeding the cap. I am furious.
Friday February 14, 2014, 5:31 pm
Besides those above there is one at Free Press. That is freepress.net, not .org, whoch is a newspaper in Ohio. It's linked large on the home page, you can't miss it. Also Bernie Sanders is taking a poll, you can answer on his site. Two of the three above I had signed previously, I hadn't known about the white house one, but have signed it now.
Friday February 14, 2014, 7:08 pm
Am so very glad my TV died 4(?) yrs ago, Never replaed it, cancelled cable and got the Internet. Thought I'd miss it, but haven't regretted decision. Signed Daily Kos from email, will go to Moveon and others now.
My mom has Comcast, hates it, and has been looking around for another cable place - keeps seeing Dish everywere. Can't have Dish in most apartment complexes now. Thanks Kit.
Friday February 14, 2014, 9:02 pm
Walking away from TV is fine. The problem is that Comcast supplies not only cable, but also internet and phone service (sometimes the only option for both - or your "choices" are AT&T which is terrible or Comcast which is also terrible. Whichever one you want!)
Friday February 14, 2014, 9:05 pm
"I wish the government would step in and break up these monopolies."
I don't know about that - the government has facilitated monopolies in the case of Monsanto et al (through the "Justice" system, consistently ruling against small farmers' property rights) and the oil industry, which you mentioned, Barbara. Remember Condoleeza Rice getting a Chevron oil tanker named after her after they invaded Iraq? Chevron got access to a bunch of oil there.
Saturday February 15, 2014, 12:39 pm
Another petition is sponsored by Working Families. I don't THINK it's the same as any already listed.
Sunday February 16, 2014, 1:30 pm
"Two troubled giants, loathed by the public and facing plummeting profits, are heralding a brighter future." Hahahaha, Their new corporate motto: "One company, twice as bad." I left both of them, one after the other, neither had good products, good prices or good customer service. I can only imagine what the merger will bring. Now I'm with Sprint, fast customer service, numerous plans (I'm on 100 minutes for less than $20).
Couldn't resist this re post from The Guardian by Tim Bishop:
"There was me hoping that Time Warner would merge with AT&T just for the acronym...."