Is the Merger of Comcast and Time Warner a Good or Bad Thing? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Is the Merger of Comcast and Time Warner a Good or Bad Thing?
It's a good thing for consumers 8 2.50%
It's a bad thing for consumers 281 87.81%
It won't make any difference for consumers 31 9.69%
Voters: 320. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 113 Old 02-14-2014, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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This week, the largest cable company in the US, Comcast, announced its intention to purchase the country's second-largest cable company, Time Warner Cable, for $45 billion. The resulting pay-TV provider would be present in 19 out of the top 20 markets (missing only Phoenix) and 43 out of the top 50 markets, serving one out of every three homes in America. And don't forget that both cable companies provide broadband Internet service to millions of subscribers as well. But before the deal can be consummated, the federal government must approve it, making sure it doesn't violate any anti-trust or media-monopoly laws.

 

Even if the government approves it, the question remains: Will this merger be a good thing or a bad thing for consumers? If it happens, what do you think will be the effect on consumers? Higher or lower rates? Better or worse service quality? Better or worse customer service?

 

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post #2 of 113 Old 02-14-2014, 08:10 PM
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Less choice and more monopolistic media is NOT GOOD FOR THE MASSES. Legislation: Sherman Anti Trust Act.
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post #3 of 113 Old 02-14-2014, 08:14 PM
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Funny...I just finished watching Real Time with Bill Maher and they were discussing this very thing. One thing they pointed out was that back in the 50's there were close to 100 media companies in the US. In the 1990's there were 50.

In 2014, there are 6.

This merger is baaaaaaaaaad.

EDIT: They also noted that both Comcast and Time/Warner are among the worst in customer service ratings. Why should combining them make them any better?
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post #4 of 113 Old 02-14-2014, 08:54 PM
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Just great now I will have to deal with data caps and possibly a price hike in a year or so.
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post #5 of 113 Old 02-14-2014, 09:25 PM
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Netflix better make as much money as they can between now and 2018. Comcast agreed not to throttle through 2018 when they bought NBC. So if this deal goes through, when 2018 hits, Comcast will kill Netflix. By then, we will likely be down to 2 major cable tv providers.

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post #6 of 113 Old 02-14-2014, 10:40 PM
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The last decade ,it seems, caused a new twist on our views of monopolies. I believe the current word is "industry consolidation". It was either start buying or end up being bought. This leaves my stomach feeling a little uneasy to say the least.

I agree that competition is good for the consumer and that monopolies will ultimately do what's best for their shareholders versus the customer.
That makes this deal a bad one for sure if it is successful in completing the merger and really aligning as a true single company. That's a tough one to accomplish and can take years.
In the mean time they both are vunerable to being left behind in technology and other competitive advantages due to the main focus on trying to merge the two as one and align their redundancies inorder to fully realize the value of the merger that were estimated up front and of having a high enough value to convince the board of directors it was worth the risk. Again, good luck.
If they merge in name only then they really are two competitors under a false front and no more of a better or worse company to the rest of us. Running a company under those conditions could end in a very favorable condition for the costumer. The two entities compete against each other from within and end up trying break off the parts that dont make a profit versus the parts that give a competitive advantage. Isn't Sony selling off the PC and TV portion of it's divisions as we speak? That would give a the window of opportunity to enter the market and add competition for the little guy.

One thing to note also as far as harm or blessing, we've seen a change in how large companies do business. No longer do they have budgets of 40-50% spent on R&D in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage. I believe the company that held the title of greatest net worth spent 5% on R&D the year they first earned it,...as i write this from my mac lol...
They buy up the new technology from startups that are creating it. This is the business model driving them. Business success only truely reached when someone wants to buy you. And competition is very alive and present at that level it seems. I don't believe this merger will effect that highly driven environment.

Good or bad? In theory I'd for sure side with bad....in practice, I'd say most likely they end up owning more of the bad then any risk we believe is at stake from the merger.
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post #7 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 04:40 AM
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We just need one super corporation the United Stakes in America!

I hope it's not approved, the service levels in this industry are barely adequate and less competition will make it worse....
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post #8 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 06:57 AM
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Ultra Bad which is why the government will approve it $$$$
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post #9 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 07:32 AM
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Makes me happy I have directv, even though I'm watching netflix right now because my dish is covered with snow.

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post #10 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 08:39 AM
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As someone mentioned, they own NBC already. Control of 19 out of 20 markets? This cannot be good. It would be a bad decision if really approved.
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post #11 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 08:42 AM
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My gut says bad. What about the 3 million or so customers they will supposedly divest of to get to/under the 30% limit which helps them avoid monopoly status? Something to that effect was in the paper yesterday. Maybe someone has more details.
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post #12 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 09:37 AM
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This is the worst thing to come to the general populace since our Federal Government decided to get involved in the business of healthcare. I see no good coming from this at all. Comcast has the track record for having the worst customer service ever recorded. An Time Warner is no slouch. I have been putting up with them since moving to NC, because there is no competition. This is the cause and effect of greed graft and corruption at the highest level. There is no concern for either of these companies to perform any kind of customer service if this "merger" goes through.
John Q. Public is the only loser in this battle. Government officials, judges, Congress, and Senate alike, will get greased with even more cash, in exchange for votes. Caps will be mandated and enforced. Rate hikes will abound, you will have to pay to play. Speed and connection quality will go out the window.
I would urge everyone here that is affected to get involved, and sign the petition online...not sure if it will help, but it sure can't hurt.
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post #13 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 10:43 AM
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This certainly would create a behemoth monopoly but at the same time, where ever TWC is, Comcast is not and thus regional monopolies do already exist. If you want to drive prices down, both (and more) would have to exist in the same territories/zones. In my area, we have TWC and no one thinks they are great given the amount of drop outs, some of the pricing and of course facets of support. I have read of real horror stories with Comcast as well. Force them to compete head on, and we may see some real change.
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post #14 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 11:19 AM
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I'm sure it can't affect me much. I've never paid for cable TV and I use DSL instead of Comcast which is big in my area.

I guess in the long run it could somehow affect some blu ray releases... that seems like it would be a long way off though.

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post #15 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 11:38 AM
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Eliminating TWC would certainly be a good thing, if just to get rid of their nonsense. Consolidating with Comcast, feh, that just sucks in a different way.
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post #16 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 12:13 PM
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Pam oil spray will take care of that snow!!!
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post #17 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post

This is the worst thing to come to the general populace since our Federal Government decided to get involved in the business of healthcare.

Totally different issue, and besides, being a Canadian, I'm proud to live in a country where being sick doesn't have to bankrupt me.
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post #18 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 01:03 PM
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This is not good or bad. It is terrible, awful and a cascading worse case scenario in corporate America. WE are very close to being what the Soviet Union used to be. Except in our case it is a "Socialist's Paradise" for the 1%. The very one's who are doing this stuff along with their sychophant enablers in government from both parties.
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post #19 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 01:18 PM
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∆∆∆∆∆ #17 Rotflmao.
On a more serious note, I agree this is very bad for the ploretariat.Since a former telco lobbyist runs the FCC , I have very little faith that they will stop this.

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post #20 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

This is not good or bad. It is terrible, awful and a cascading worse case scenario in corporate America. WE are very close to being what the Soviet Union used to be. Except in our case it is a "Socialist's Paradise" for the 1%. The very one's who are doing this stuff along with their sychophant enablers in government from both parties.
Actually the current Putin controlled Russia is closer with their oligarchy then the state owned system in the USSR.

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post #21 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

Totally different issue, and besides, being a Canadian, I'm proud to live in a country where being sick doesn't have to bankrupt me.

I don't see it as being too much different...you still have someone deciding your choice FOR YOU...
I'm sorry, but America was set up to be something different. A place where the people, and the free market choose their fate. There is no choice in this scenario.
I also do not think your health care was set up for a bunch of politicians to make a profit. Or for that elite to get away without having to belong to the very system they set up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

This is not good or bad. It is terrible, awful and a cascading worse case scenario in corporate America. WE are very close to being what the Soviet Union used to be. Except in our case it is a "Socialist's Paradise" for the 1%. The very one's who are doing this stuff along with their sychophant enablers in government from both parties.


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What barrelbelly said!
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post #22 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 02:20 PM
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There are petitions going on already for the FCC to block the merger....
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post #23 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post

I don't see it as being too much different...you still have someone deciding your choice FOR YOU...
I'm sorry, but America was set up to be something different. A place where the people, and the free market choose their fate. There is no choice in this scenario.
I also do not think your health care was set up for a bunch of plotitcians to make a profit. Or for that elite to get away without having to belong to the very system they set up.
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What barrelbelly said!

LOL you really believe that don't you.
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post #24 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post

LOL you really believe that don't you.

Is that funny?
If you read the post in the context in which it was typed...That was exactly the point...that it was how this country was supposed to be. Not how it is in this day and age.
And yes I do believe that was what the founders originally set up. Do you think they were on the take....like now? That was what they were fighting. Read your history
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post #25 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 04:24 PM
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Honestly, such a proposed merger should violate anti-trust without question. Since the Fed seems to be neutered these days, plus a Federal judge lost his mind 2 years ago by throwing out the 30% of a given market cap rule, the merger will unfortunately go through.... It shouldn't.

The issue is the broadband. Having one company control TV and Internet delivery, plus be heavy in the content creation industry (NBC, Universal Pictures) creates a strong conflict of interest, is anti-competition, and represents a monopoly. I remember when Ma Bell was broken up for the same issue. Also back when IBM wanted to move into telecom, software for both enterprise and commercial; in both cases, the Fed said no.

I would go along with this disaster of modern corporate greed if the company merges, then is broken up. I want to see at least the content split back into it's own company. Split the corp and a merger controlling the cable and net size is not ok, but better.

I also wish the court would reverse the ruling that internet is not a public utility, because it is. Internet is the modern primary form of communication. Transfer lines (fiber) should be treated like phone lines were 35 years ago.
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post #26 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 05:28 PM
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The sad thing is, it WILL be approved. It wouldnt come this far if the billion dollar companies didnt think it had a very very good chance. Its a disgrace to the public.... there is NO way this would be approved without some very very expensive lobbying lining the pockets of the people in charge. When something this outrageous gets through, the reason is obvious. They are raising a stink about Sprint+TMobile yet Comcast+TWC has a chance to fly through? ridiculous.
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post #27 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 07:00 PM
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post #28 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 07:14 PM
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If the press has influence it won't be approved, most articles are not positive on this merger. The New Yorker asks a rather obvious question:
Quote:
Comcast, in announcing its deal, has said nothing about how it might save consumers money. Instead, it calls the deal “an exciting opportunity” for its customers, promising “accelerated deployment of existing and new innovative products and services.” I suspect that I’m not alone in thinking that a lack of excitement isn’t what most customers call to complain about. Everyone, even people in the industry, knows that the prices are too damn high. But tellingly, nowhere in any of its materials does Comcast suggest a plan to do anything about it. So just what makes this merger in the public’s interest?

Worth a look is Comcast vs. the Cord Cutters
Quote:
There is also the matter of network performance. According to data published by Netflix, subscribers who use Time Warner Cable experience streaming speeds that are about a third faster than those on Comcast. When those Time Warner users are switched to Comcast’s infrastructure, they may find that “House of Cards” takes a little bit longer to start playing.

Which is not to say that striking down the merger would lead to some kind of cord cutters’ nirvana. Americans pay far more for broadband and TV service than people in most other industrialized nations. According to data collected by the New America Foundation, in Los Angeles, the cheapest monthly television, phone and Internet service costs about $80. In Paris, a similar bundle sells for $32, and in Seoul, it goes for $15.

If Comcast starts to drop prices for services and box rentals maybe we all will have a different opinion, but when Comcast might control pricing against most of the top 50 population centers as shown below, start to worry!

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post #29 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 07:44 PM
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I already know, merger or not, I'll be dumping Comcast when my contract is up (I believe if I cut the cord now I get penalized heavily). Service has been getting progressively worse, as rates keep increasing.
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post #30 of 113 Old 02-15-2014, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irfan View Post

The sad thing is, it WILL be approved. It wouldnt come this far if the billion dollar companies didnt think it had a very very good chance. Its a disgrace to the public.... there is NO way this would be approved without some very very expensive lobbying lining the pockets of the people in charge. When something this outrageous gets through, the reason is obvious. They are raising a stink about Sprint+TMobile yet Comcast+TWC has a chance to fly through? ridiculous.

If the public you mention doesn't stop its goofy and self destructive civil war against itself over irrelevant social/culture issues, it will lose everything within 10 years to these greedy billionaires and out of control global corporations. Politicians, judges, authorities of all kind have been completely bought out by the very powers who are distracting the public with a no win culture war. All the while, they are consolidating and plundering all of the wealth of the nation right under our noses. WE don't need anymore politicians, courts and leaders who enable destructive mergers like this. We need real public advocates who will stop the divisiveness and break these corporations up. That is what will really drive positive market forces and opportunities for all everyone. We desperately need a committed political structure to combat the rampage of monopolistic Global corporations. The public is being squashed into submission IMO. Want to see the real economy ignite versus the contrived chaos driven by Wall Street manipulation? Let the People's Government step forward and bust the rapacious Fortune 500 up into 5000 competitive pieces. Such an act could ignite a new American renaissance IMO. One that is driven by strong local and National Capitalism with unbeatable Yankee innovation.

The American public better wake up and start confronting its real foes instead weak powerless phantoms. That's how you really stop stuff like this. And if we don't do it soon...We risk becoming nothing but a mindless nation of technology and science consumers. instead of shapers. And that is as far off topic as I'll go on this one. Stop this merger. And roll back over 30 years of other ones that never should have happened.
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