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He's also confident the deal will close

While some remain unsure of what Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) will mean for the industry, TWC's CEO has no doubt the deal between both companies is a "dream combination."

According to Variety, TWC CEO Rob Marcus said the merger will mean increased innovation and efficiency in the cable industry. 

“Look, I have every confidence that this deal is going to close. The logic of the deal is so compelling. I really don’t see anything undermining that,” said Marcus. 

Not everyone shares that same point-of-view. Some worry that the merger will result in reduced competition, poor customer service, less innovation and higher prices for customers. 

These worries stem from analyst predictions that Comcast and TWC's combined company would control about one-third of the U.S. broadband market. 

But Marcus dismissed the negatives, saying that Comcast and TWC don't directly compete in any markets -- hence, competition would remain unchanged. He also defended the merger from accusations that customers would pay more in the end.

“I find that whole line to be totally ironic given the experience we’ve all had over the last dozen years, where (programming) costs have risen faster than the cost customers will bear," said Marcus. 

TWC is raising prices on its own before the Comcast acquisition, saying it's offering more "customer friendly" cost increases by upping their bills once a year instead of as much as three times per year.

Comcast confirmed its acquisition of TWC for $45.2 billion USD in mid-February. It's set to be an all-stock transaction. 
 
The deal, which should be completed by the end of 2014 (after approval by stockholders and regulators, of course), will give TWC investors 2.875 Comcast stock for each of their shares. TWC shares are valued at $158.82 a piece.
 
TWC shareholders will own about 23 percent of Comcast’s common stock, and the press release said Comcast plans to buy back an additional $10 billion of its shares. 
 
The deal will up Comcast’s free cash flow per share and produce savings of about $1.5 billion. The overall acquisition values TWC at at about $69 billion including net debt.

It was revealed yesterday that Comcast used its political action committee to pay millions of dollars in lobbying, which paid many lawmakers responsible for overseeing the acquisition. The company even made donations to charities in an effort to put itself in a favorable light.

Comcast reportedly gave 15 of the 18 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as 32 of the 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee some type of compensation or donation. Both committees are due to partake in hearings regarding the Comcast deal. 

 

Source: Variety





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When has this worked for any customer?
By dgingerich on 3/12/2014 2:52:54 PM , Rating: 5
I'm curious. When in history has a deal like this, where two dominating companies in a market merge to create one that consumes more than half the market, worked out for increasing innovation and better service for the customer. I haven't been able to think of one. I have only been able to find cases where it decreased innovation and degraded the service customers received. Does this guy know of something I don't?




RE: When has this worked for any customer?
By nshoe on 3/12/2014 3:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I would find it difficult to find a deal quite like this - where two companies who are in the same business but are not actually competitors wanting to merge.


RE: When has this worked for any customer?
By itzmec on 3/12/2014 4:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
true, I wonder, did twc and Comcast share any markets before this? I know a few years ago there were two competing cable companies in Roanoke va, cox cable and I forgot the other.

and there is much reason to remain, or at least start being innovative. twc and Comcast's main competition is Verizon, at&t, frontier etc.,


By Jeffk464 on 3/13/2014 1:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully Google will step up their Gigabit internet roll out. They are the only ones left who can possibly save net neutrality.


By NellyFromMA on 3/12/2014 4:30:20 PM , Rating: 4
Indeed. It's funny as this point indirectly highlights the anti-competitive nature of the sector as a whole.


RE: When has this worked for any customer?
By michael67 on 3/12/2014 3:56:39 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Does this guy know of something I don't?

Depending how smart you are, you will properly know that innovation is there last concern's, and that this should have bin his quote!
quote:
Time Warner Cable CEO Says Merger with Comcast is a "Dream Combination", Will Increase the bottom line!

And that this has noting to do with greasing the weels to push a iffy deal true.
quote:
It was revealed yesterday that Comcast used its political action committee to pay millions of dollars in lobbying, which paid many lawmakers responsible for overseeing the acquisition. The company even made donations to charities in an effort to put itself in a favorable light.

If i bribe a public servant i go to jail if the cache me doing it, these guys do it in the open, and get away whit it, and the representatives that get bribed, people still vote for them. o_0


RE: When has this worked for any customer?
By jdietz on 3/12/2014 5:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
People are idiots. :(
Nothing you can do.


By Jeffk464 on 3/13/2014 1:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
There is one thing I can and that's switch to my local DSL company.


By sorry dog on 3/12/2014 4:06:28 PM , Rating: 3
If the justice dept doesn't block this then it will become a great case study of the influence of "donation" to policy implementations.
The reason why is the Justice Department has had a somewhat formalized criteria for screening which mergers to scrutinize based on the HHI or Herfindahl index. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herfindahl_index

I think it's quite clear that when evaluated as cable MSO companies, this merger will significantly increase the concentration of the market and probably lead the market to scoring above the magic .25 number where the department is supposed to get involved.

The only possible argument I can see against this is if the "market" includes not only MSO's but also ATT, wireless providers, and Sat providers.

It's also worth noting that this will not only affect end consumers but suppliers such at set top box makers. In the short-term, box makers will be at the complete mercy of this giant as well as others like amplifier makers and coax cable suppliers.


By retrospooty on 3/12/2014 4:32:07 PM , Rating: 2
"When in history has a deal like this, where two dominating companies in a market merge to create one that consumes more than half the market, worked out for increasing innovation and better service for the customer"

Not to point out the obvious, but the "innovation" will surely be designed to make them more money at the customer's expense.


By kaesden on 3/12/2014 5:45:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, he probably knows how much of a big fat bonus he will receive if he can get this deal pushed through. @#$% time warner, @#$% comcast. Give me google fiber thank you very much.


By BifurcatedBoat on 3/12/2014 6:33:51 PM , Rating: 5
It probably will increase innovation.

"We will find ever more creative ways to gouge our customers beyond what they ever dreamed possible."


By danjw1 on 3/12/2014 7:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
I read that the issue that regulators would likely use against this is for their upstream (media companies) not downstream(consumers) will be harmed by this.

Well that and the fact that Comcast often goes back on promises made to regulators.


By Jeffk464 on 3/13/2014 1:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
Oh sure, cable companies are going out of their way to block innovation. The future should be one fiber-optic pipeline to your house with net neutrality in place. Once that's in place a ton of high quality streaming services like netflix, hulu, amazon, etc, compete to provide the ultimate service. Comcast is absolutely the biggest hurdle preventing this from happening.


Customer friendly?
By chmilz on 3/12/2014 2:56:58 PM , Rating: 3
Only in a US monopoly can a company consolidate its price increases from 3 to 1 annually and call that service.




RE: Customer friendly?
By Hakuryu on 3/12/2014 5:19:20 PM , Rating: 3
Apparently it's the place you can outright lie about your prices also. I'm sure we've all seen the $99 for phone/internet/tv commercials... that is the plan I have, and it costs me $164 a month once they add on every charge under the sun you can think of.


RE: Customer friendly?
By rudolphna on 3/12/14, Rating: -1
RE: Customer friendly?
By Hakuryu on 3/12/2014 6:11:32 PM , Rating: 5
You can't watch digital cable without a digital cable box, so how is that fair to charge for one, on top of the listed price? Would be like buying a car for a good price, and finding you have to pay separately for the steering wheel.

And, I don't have a lot of extras. Two cable boxes, two remotes, and my cable modem (I owned one, but nope, gotta use ours @$8 a month - forever). No DVR (I use my PC) or any pay channels. $60+ a month for that hardware and taxes is a rip off.

You almost sound like you are worried about cable companies. I just can't quite do that... even if it costs thousands to run a short stretch of infrastructure, those millions and millions in executive bonuses say they are not hurting.


RE: Customer friendly?
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 9:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, most HDTVs can decode unencrypted QAM cable broadcasts. The problem is several cable companies only show the local channels (what you could get with an OTA antenna) unencrypted. They encrypt the "everyone gets this" channels like Nat Geo, CNN, etc., making your TV's built-in tuner useless. You only get the same channels you could get with an antenna, and the antenna picture would probably be better anyway since it's not going to be compressed as heavily.

The FCC (or maybe it was the FTC) stepped in here and required cable companies to provide cablecards. These are standardized digital decryption cards you can plug into any cablecard STB. The STB uses the card to confirm with the cable company that your subscription is legit, and to decode the encrypted channels. Otherwise it acts just like a STB because it is one. In fact I've noticed the STBs provided by some cable companies are just cablecard STBs with a cablecard installed.

The monthly fee on the cablecards is a lot lower (typically $3.99/mo or $4.99/mo). This allows you to buy your own cablecard-ready set-top box, and plug it in. Some of the networked tuners even allow you to stream multiple channels over your LAN using a single cablecard (it's only used to confirm subscription and to decrypt - not to decode the TV signal into video). So if you have a lot of TVs this can be a much cheaper way to get them all cable TV service in the long-run. You pay a one-time cost for a single networked cablecard box, and a few streaming decoders to hook up to each TV, instead of a separate cablecard STB to each TV and multiple cablecard rentals, or a monthly fee for a separate STB to each TV. (One caution with the networked streamer type boxes is they don't work if the cable company sets the "do not copy" DRM flag in the video. I know at least one cable company does this for everything even if the original broadcast is not flagged "do not copy". Ask online for the experience of others on your cable provider using cablecards.)

All the cable companies in the U.S. are required to offer it by law, so look into it if you're being charged excessively for STBs and remotes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CableCARD


RE: Customer friendly?
By sorry dog on 3/12/2014 11:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
That's all mostly true, however most of the larger MSO's have now implemented something called switched digital which rearranges the channel bandwidths to create new spots for internet channels, on demand, or more HD stuff. Problem is the old school cable card stuff including Tivo boxes don't work with switched digital. To stay legal the cable co's are "supposed" to provide a separate switch digital tuner box, but now you got yet another box and the guides and consumer DVR's don't always play nice with each other. Really the whole cable card thing has sorta turned into a fiasco.

The MSO can charge rental for the card, but not more than what a normal DCT would be. The only real savings to be had is when you consider the savings versus HD boxes and mainly DVR's since most charge 15 or more for those. The only reason I'd ever go the cable card route would be if I was setting up one of those Ceton 4 tuner cable card media deals. It varies on the company, but you do miss out of a decent amount of free on demand content because the settop box (DCT) is required to get the on demand stuff and guide that the company pushes out.

The MSO's all hated the cable card setup and sometimes I think they are doing their best to legally make them useless...and at the least run TIVO out of business.


RE: Customer friendly?
By bodar on 3/13/2014 1:43:38 AM , Rating: 2
You may have been misinformed about the modems. Comcast will even help you buy a compatible modem from Amazon. http://mynewmodem.comcast.net/


RE: Customer friendly?
By rudolphna on 3/13/14, Rating: 0
Appropriate picture
By Solandri on 3/12/2014 2:47:56 PM , Rating: 5
Two male coax cables, looking for a double-ended female adapter (the customer) to screw into.




RE: Appropriate picture
By spamreader1 on 3/12/2014 3:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... sounds kinky, when you put it that way.


RE: Appropriate picture
By sorry dog on 3/12/2014 3:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
....Or add a two way and you can have three screwed... how does that sound?


RE: Appropriate picture
By kattanna on 3/14/2014 12:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
im pretty sure they, the cable companies, do not care if the customer is female, or male, just as long as they can stick it to them

;>)


Innovation?
By Flunk on 3/12/2014 2:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
Increased efficiency, definitely. Innovation? only if innovation is code for profits. I can't see this do anything but stifle innovation. Maybe if it was combined with a removal of the cable monopoly system... but seriously this is bad for the consumer.




RE: Innovation?
By inighthawki on 3/12/2014 4:14:41 PM , Rating: 4
I'm sure they will come up with plenty of innovative ways to charge their customers more.


RE: Innovation?
By marvdmartian on 3/13/2014 7:46:22 AM , Rating: 2
Increased innovation? Perhaps.

Increased customer rates and profit? Most certainly!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJR1H5tf5wE


competition
By fic2 on 3/12/2014 3:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But Marcus dismissed the negatives, saying that Comcast and TWC don't directly compete in any markets -- hence, competition would remain unchanged.


I like what Senator Al Franken says about that, "In what other industry do you have the #1 company and #2 company and they don't compete?"




RE: competition
By Nfarce on 3/12/2014 10:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that clown is still around? Haven't heard a peep out of him since his failed radio-turned-political hack decision. But nonetheless, his comment speaks volumes for his ignorance as a comedian-turned-politician (and not a funny comedian at that). Comcast and TWC do not compete against each other directly in general.

In other words, you will generally not find a consumer market where TWC and Comcast are two choices of cable in a given market segment. There are currently only two regions/cities where both TWC and Comcast are offered together: Louisville KY and Kansas City MO. Seems to me Mr. Franken could have at least done a little research on that.


RE: competition
By fic2 on 3/13/2014 10:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, he said they don't compete. My comment said that he said they don't compete. He was specifically pointing out there is no other industry where the #1 and #2 companies don't compete.

And, "that clown" seems to be the only one standing in the way of the Comcast buyout of TWC.

BTW, that "failed radio-turned-political hack decision" won him a U.S. Senate seat. So, I am guessing "that clown" is more successful and powerful than you are.


Dream Combination
By valkator on 3/12/2014 3:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
It will be a dream combination.

But he didn't say who it is a dream for now did he?




RE: Dream Combination
By fic2 on 3/12/2014 3:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
Dreams are not always good. They include nightmares....


Rates going up already
By 457R4LDR34DKN07 on 3/12/2014 8:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
Got a bill from TWC that rates are going up... that was fast




RE: Rates going up already
By 457R4LDR34DKN07 on 3/12/2014 8:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Their billing is a f'd up. How can you charge me for navigator guide, remote, and cable box when I only use a cablecard?


I Agree...It Will Be Innovative...
By Arsynic on 3/12/2014 3:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
They'll find innovative ways to give you less service for more money.




I can see the new company motto now...
By LBID on 3/12/2014 3:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
"We're here to serve you!"

"...like the bull serves the cow."




By Tequilasunriser on 3/12/2014 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
...and replace "innovation" with "excessive fees."




Seriously?
By drlumen on 3/12/2014 4:55:28 PM , Rating: 2
"...offering more "customer friendly" cost increases..."

lol. Who does he think he is kidding?

Dream for them, nightmare for everybody else.




By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/12/2014 7:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
"Comcast and TWC don't directly compete in any markets", and after this merger, never will!




more lies
By cyberserf on 3/13/2014 5:48:02 AM , Rating: 2
prices have already gone up across the board. There will be no reason to EVER lower them.
service will suffer even more after more consolidation to increase profits.
all I seem is collusion to keep prices high.
after merger get ready for DATA caps.
There is petition of whitehouse.gov to stop the merger. sign it and you can email FCC to prevent merger. Get Active.




By theaerokid on 3/13/2014 8:31:47 AM , Rating: 2
It ultimately meant finding new ways to lie to people and rip them off. Andy Fastow, whom I believe is still in jail, became an expert in figuring out ways of making shell companies and hiding Enron's losses in the shell companies' books. Brilliant. "Why? Why? Why?"




This is guaranteed.
By jmarchel on 3/14/2014 7:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
They will fine new and innovative ways how to rip off even more money from the customer.




Right!!!
By michael67 on 3/12/14, Rating: -1
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs













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