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So far, Florida is the only confirmed state that is helping the DOJ

Comcast already has the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) judging its Time Warner Cable (TWC) acquisition, but it looks like some U.S. states will put the deal under a microscope as well. 
 
According to Reuters, an unknown number of U.S. states have created an attorneys general group that will help the DOJ assess whether the Comcast-TWC merger complies with antitrust law. 
 
So far, Florida is the only confirmed state that is helping the DOJ. 
 
"We are part of a multistate group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ (Justice Department) Antitrust Division," said the Florida state attorney general's office.
 
The states are reportedly more interested in the broadband aspect of the deal rather than cable.


[SOURCE: Fortune]

Comcast agreed to acquire TWC in mid-February of this year for $45.2 billion USD. It's set to be an all-stock transaction, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 (after approval by stockholders and regulators, of course).

But the acquisition has been met with strong criticism. 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 TWC CEO Rob Marcus recently said 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.

He added that Comcast and TWC is a "dream combination."

Source: Reuters



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I cut the cord a while ago...
By MrBlastman on 3/19/2014 12:57:42 PM , Rating: 5
The only thing I'm worried about is if my internet costs go up. With this merger, they are sure to figure out a way to squeeze more money out of me. It isn't good for anyone.

Oh, and I don't miss cable television at all.




RE: I cut the cord a while ago...
By JediJeb on 3/19/2014 1:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't had cable for several years, and if I could get the few shows I watch on SyFy, History and Discovery channel I would be getting rid of my DirecTV also. What really stinks is that you have to take at least the second tier programming to get that combination of channels. If only some company could broadcast those over the air it would be wonderful :), just hook up an antenna and go like for the local channels. Or maybe they should work deals with the local stations to carry programming on their extra channels (like 3.x 3.Y ect).


RE: I cut the cord a while ago...
By FITCamaro on 3/19/2014 2:55:33 PM , Rating: 2
You could always buy the episodes on Amazon or some other store.


RE: I cut the cord a while ago...
By MrBlastman on 3/19/2014 8:28:05 PM , Rating: 2
I have Netflix. They are adequate enough considering how little television I watch, which amounts to about a half hour a day or less. The last few weeks the only thing I have watched much of is Cosmos. Basically if it isn't science programming (or good science fiction), I don't really care. :)


RE: I cut the cord a while ago...
By mmatis on 3/20/2014 8:59:56 AM , Rating: 2
What's "television"? Is that the silly monitor that some folks have in their living rooms, with raunchy clowns gyrating to music? And "journalists" telling us how great the economy is doing?

Got rid of mine when they went digital. I didn't see anything on there worth $40, even if SOMEBODY ELSE was gonna pay for the box to convert.


RE: I cut the cord a while ago...
By GotThumbs on 3/24/2014 1:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
Simply Google

XMBC


By marvdmartian on 3/19/2014 2:12:29 PM , Rating: 4
I can honestly see it going back to the "pay for the bandwidth you want" type of plans. Never mind speed, that's not such a big deal. But if you use more bandwidth, you'll pay more money.

Some people might applaud this sort of plan, as there's some out there who won't use much. But I can see this negatively affecting businesses like Netflix, which depend on high speed internet without bandwidth limits to exist.

My personal hope is that this will encourage AT&T and Verizon, as well as Google, to expand their fiberoptic networks outside of the major metropolis areas they're currently servicing. I'd love to tell the cable company to shove their $70/month for 20 megabit per second cable internet, and replace it with much faster fiberoptic.


By stm1185 on 3/19/2014 2:19:00 PM , Rating: 1
Those people are stupid. Name the place where Comcast competes with Time Warner Cable. The place where you have a choice between the two.

What's that? That place doesn't exist. You can't reduce competition below none.




By FITCamaro on 3/19/2014 2:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
That is only because of the government to begin with. Ideally all of them should have to compete with each other everywhere. But the government gave monopolies to each company in their areas.

Using government to fix government will never work well.


By DT_Reader on 3/19/2014 3:10:28 PM , Rating: 4
You need to think bigger. It's not just local competition for subscribers, it's also national competition for places where content creators can show their work. If you're a small cable channel and you compete with a Comcast brand, Comcast isn't likely to carry you. But if you don't compete with a Time-Warner brand and Time-Warner carries you, you might generate enough buzz that Comcast customers demand you and Comcast picks you up. With fewer cable companies, if you compete directly with a Comcast brand it's now highly unlikely that your business will ever get off the ground. Or worse, if you're an established small brand (say, The Fly Fishing Network) Comcast may demand a larger slice of your pie and if you don't pay, they drop you and develop a new brand in your space.


By sorry dog on 3/19/2014 5:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Those people are stupid...


Your opinion seems a little strong there.

but maybe I'm stupid too...but let me explain my stupid reasoning. See I worked for a large MSO for several years, and learned that it is not very common for any area, and especially SDU areas (SDU = single family dwelling unit), to have more than one cable provider. Areas with more than one are called "overbuilt" areas. Reason is that it is expensive to build and maintain cable plant. Prices not-withstanding, pretend you have to split the customers 50/50 with somebody, then it is going to take a whole lot longer to payoff that plant investment. Now if you include price in that analysis then if an area has enough customer density and the current competitor has higher market prices, then a company might choose to overbuild. But if there are physically less large MSO's, then that scenario becomes less likely.

It is also worth noting that the TV part of the business makes little to no money. Internet is by far the product which the best margins followed by telephone. I don't see it as a coincidence that Internet has the least amount options for consumers. For TV the majority of customers have 2 satellite companies to choose from. For telephone most customers have 4 wireless providers and possibly many IP phone based options. For internet your lucky if you got 2 to choose from.

One final note, as already mentioned, there is definitely a power of
supplier issue here. A combined Comcast TWC behemoth will have over 50% of coax based MSO market. Companies that currently supply that sector such as cable modem makers, coax cable suppliers, coax amp makers will literally have their survival at the mercy of this one giant.... lose that business and your company is either done or at least much smaller.

...but then again, what do I know....being stupid and all


By stm1185 on 3/19/2014 10:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well seeing how you responded with reasons why the competition isn't happening, instead of an argument why competition is an issue with the merger, stupid might be the right word.

Furthermore a larger Comcast able to better negotiate for equipment and content is not necessarily a bad thing for consumers.

The "new network" scenario from above is also rather stupid, as it is 2014. Netflix, Amazon, Twitch, Hulu... have shown you can be a content provider without being a TV channel. The inability of a content provider to strong arm Comcast into picking up their channel is not something the government needs to protect in an era when they can simply move online.


Reduced competition?
By BillyBatson on 3/19/2014 3:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
This is the part I do not understand. How is it less competition when both those companies do not offer cable or internet service in the same locations? It isn't like someone can choose between the 2, the area you live in determines the only cable provider available to you and if you don't like the option you have to go with another type of service like verizon or AT&T. The 2 companies don't compete.




RE: Reduced competition?
By BillyBatson on 3/19/2014 3:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
sorry for the multiple posts, on my end they weren't going through or asking me to wait before posting again =\


sirius/xm
By itzmec on 3/21/2014 1:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sirius and xm were each other's competition. they merged. twc and Comcast are not each other's competition. they should be able to do the same. I think the states, doj and fcc are looking for a payday.




RE: sirius/xm
By GotThumbs on 3/24/2014 1:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
Research Comcast to see what they own.

It's not just an internet provider.

There is a serious problem with Comcast's growth and all that they own.

It's called a monopoly and that is why NetFlix is paying for the privilege of bandwidth priority to Comcast.


Why?
By brshoemak on 3/19/2014 2:20:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why the states should spend any time or effort on investigating the possible implications of an acquisition. There is only one question that needs asked:

Is Comcast willing to pay enough money to the right people to push this acquisition through?

(hint: the answer is yes)




Reduced competition?
By BillyBatson on 3/19/2014 3:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
This is the part I do not understand. How is it less competition when both those companies do not offer cable or internet service in the same locations? It isn't like someone can choose between the 2, the area you live in determines the only cable provider available to you and if you don't like the option you have to go with another type of service like verizon or AT&T. The two companies don't compete.




Reduced competition?
By BillyBatson on 3/19/2014 3:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is the part I do not understand. How is it less competition when both those companies do not offer cable or internet service in the same locations? It isn't like someone can choose between the two, the area you live in determines the only cable provider available to you and if you don't like the option you have to go with another type of service like verizon or AT&T. The two companies don't compete.




Telecommunications Act of 1996
By coburn_c on 3/19/2014 4:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
Set this all in motion. Let companies buy whatever they wanted, deregulated the monopolies that had been allowed only under strict regulation, and even tried to censor the internet (struck down by the court).




Reduced competition?
By BillyBatson on 3/19/2014 3:04:42 PM , Rating: 1
This is the part I do not understand. How is it less competition when both those companies do not offer cable or internet service in the same locations? It isn't like someone can choose between the two, the area you live in determines the only cable provider available to you and if you don't like the option you have to go with another type of service like verizon or AT&T. They don't compete.




Reduced competition?
By BillyBatson on 3/19/2014 3:04:49 PM , Rating: 1
This is the part I do not understand. How is it less competition when both those companies do not offer cable or internet service in the same locations? It isn't like someone can choose between the two, the area you live in determines the only cable provider available to you and if you don't like the option you have to go with another type of service like verizon or AT&T.




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