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Time Warner Cable Customers Beg Regulators To Block Sale To Comcast

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the non-compete-clause dept.

Businesses 80

An anonymous reader sends this report from Ars Technica: New York is shaping up as a major battleground for Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable. While the $45.2 billion merger will be scrutinized by federal officials, it also needs approval at the state level. TWC has 2.2 million cable TV, Internet, and phone customers in 1,150 New York communities, and hundreds of them have called on the New York Public Service Commission to block the sale to Comcast. Comcast doesn't compete against TWC for subscribers, and its territory in New York is limited but includes a VoIP phone service offered to residential and business customers in 10 communities. "Both Time Warner Cable and Comcast already have monopolies in each and every territory in which they do business today, and combining the companies will reinforce those individual territorial monopolies under a single corporate umbrella, with NBC-Universal thrown in to boot," resident Frank Brice argued in a comment to the PSC posted yesterday.

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Predictable outcome (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 months ago | (#47364863)

Customers: Please don't!

FTC: Hmm, the customers seem vocal about this one.

Time Warner/Comcast to FTC: Don't you dare...

FTC: We'll need to study the issue.

(One U.S. election cycle passes)

New FTC Head: What's good for Time Warner/Comcast is good for America! Full steam ahead, job-producers!

Re:Predictable outcome (5, Funny)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 4 months ago | (#47364959)

You forgot:
America! Fuck yeah!

Re:Predictable outcome (1)

FingerSoup (928761) | about 4 months ago | (#47365605)

It's pronounced 'Murrica!

Re:Predictable outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47368369)

You act as if we actually have a say anymore in what our gov't officials do?

Re: Predictable outcome (2, Interesting)

soren42 (700305) | about 4 months ago | (#47364961)

Sad, but regrettably accurate if past outcomes predict future behaviours.

Re:Predictable outcome (3, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 4 months ago | (#47364987)

You forgot the part where lobbyists give them $10 million

Re:Predictable outcome (3, Informative)

bobstreo (1320787) | about 4 months ago | (#47366111)

You forgot the part where lobbyists give them $10 million

18 million in 2013 : http://www.opensecrets.org/lob... [opensecrets.org]

3 million so far in 2014: http://www.opensecrets.org/lob... [opensecrets.org]

so 21 million.

Re:Predictable outcome (1)

Kalium70 (3437049) | about 4 months ago | (#47366739)

The lobbyists seem to be behind for 2014. They better pony up more money if they want this deal to go through.

Re:Predictable outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367267)

Don't you think they are saving up until just after an election? Buying someone early gives you most bang for the bucks.

OTOH it might be cheaper to buy someone when they are short on cash, but then again, those people are never short on cash.

Re:Predictable outcome (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47367893)

It's a midterm election year so expect more lobbying a little later this year. Plus I'm sure there will be rather sizable increase just after it's approved. Lobbyists aren't dumb. Why spend $X to get something approved when you can spend another $X afterwords as a reward.

Re:Predictable outcome (4, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47365057)

New owners: Competition is a sin.
NSA: One company would be more easy to deal with.
Federal law enforcement: One company would be more easy to deal with.
State law enforcement: One company would be more easy to deal with. Can we keep the networks on copper or coaxial cable in use for a few more decades?
City law enforcement: One company would be more easy to deal with. Optical networks are too expensive to tap. Offer more very low cost mobile plans.
Customers: Free mobile with my new internet plan on a 24 month contract.
The freedom of choice to be online sitting at home or on the move. Every 24 months I get a new free mobile phone.... freedom of choice from a huge selection of approved mobile phones.

Simple economics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47365619)

Free market capitalism is very beneficial to the consumers...when there is open competition. Once someone wins, and becomes a monopoly, then *all* the benefits of this model vanish.

But...in order to keep the businesses competing there must be the possibility of them winning. If we impose laws that guarantee winners do not prosper, the competition will dry up and with it all the benefits.

So there is the paradox. We must promise the businesses the possibility of their rise to total dominance in order to ensure that they compete for it...to our benefit...but if any of them actually do win, we have to destroy them so the process can reset.

Re:Simple economics. (4, Insightful)

Dragon Bait (997809) | about 4 months ago | (#47365737)

Free market capitalism is very beneficial to the consumers...when there is open competition. .

When did the free market have anything to do with the telecommunications industry? At least in the United States, it has been a regulated industry for as long as anyone alive can remember. I really wonder why we've let companies with a government created monopoly in one area (local cable monopolies) leverage that monopoly to improve their business position in another area (content creation).

Re:Simple economics. (2)

mhollis (727905) | about 4 months ago | (#47369171)

it has been a regulated industry

Industry regulation does not constitute a non-free market, just as industry deregulation does not constitute a free market. I think you did not mean to suggest that regulation un-frees markets.

While the telecommunications industry has always been regulated, there are many very competitive industries that face regulation. The regulation, in effect, creates a more level playing field for all competitors within a market. For example, the contractor I know faces regulation. He has to register as a contractor and keep his registration current for each state in which he works. The money he pays into the state for that registration goes into a fund that will pay homeowners for botched jobs where the contracting firm goes bankrupt. Contractors are regulated by local laws to require a permit for the work that they do (these regulations also cross-regulate homeowners as well). Work must be subjected to inspection so that the work performed meets building codes. But nobody is saying that contractors have a monopoly, that there is no free market for contractors. Indeed, it's a pretty free market.

To suggest that any regulation makes a market "un-free" is to not understand regulation. Or free markets.

How has this monopoly thing worked for us all? (1)

See Attached (1269764) | about 4 months ago | (#47370173)

The managed monopolies have caused stagnation in service to the end customer, with steadily rising costs. Thats the rub in any monopoly. Why is this permitted? Do we need to start a class action suit to get some competition back in telecom? What is the metric we need to review to show how far behind the US is behind Rest-of-World in this space? This sort of cronyism/protectionism can't be tolerated.

Re:Simple economics. (1)

Dragon Bait (997809) | about 4 months ago | (#47375985)

it has been a regulated industry

Industry regulation does not constitute a non-free market, just as industry deregulation does not constitute a free market.

Um, we're talking the telecommunications industry here -- where a free market does not exist. You cannot go into the cable business without the local and/or state (depending on the area) giving its blessing -- and they won't. The local/state governments have create monopolies. This is not a free market.

The same holds for the telephone industry. The norm is that a single company is granted a government monopoly in an area. There is no competition for land lines in a locale.

Don't get me wrong. You only want one company stringing phone lines throughout a community. You only want one company stringing cable coax throughout a community. But please, let's not pretend that these government created monopolies have anything to do with the free market.

Re:Simple economics. (3)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#47366293)

no, we just need regulatory bodies that have some teeth and backbone enough to say no to lobbyists and bribes. If a company achieves monopoly status, break them up.

This HAS happened in the past, and all the laws to do it are on still on the books. The only reason it doesn't happen is dick douches like Wheeler get spun around the revolving door of government and corporate America.

achieves monopoly? They are GRANTED monopolies (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47366325)

What do you mean "if a company achieves monopoly status"? They are GIVEN monopoly status by local governments. The NYC web site has a map showing which boroughs each company is allowed to operate in.

Re:achieves monopoly? They are GRANTED monopolies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367211)

What do you mean "if a company achieves monopoly status"? They are GIVEN monopoly status by local governments. The NYC web site has a map showing which boroughs each company is allowed to operate in.

You're confused about the industry definition. Cable companies don't compete with other cable companies, so it's nonsense to talk about a "cable monopoly." Cable companies compete with DSL and satellite companies within their defined terriroties.

YOU may think it would be good to have competition among cable companies, but that is just not part of the equation. You might as well ask for competition among water companies or fire departments.

Re:achieves monopoly? They are GRANTED monopolies (1)

SirTicksAlot (576078) | about 4 months ago | (#47367929)

Even more reason to define them as a common carrier.

Re:achieves monopoly? They are GRANTED monopolies (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 4 months ago | (#47368993)

Hey moron, it's competition within a industry not between industries. That means cable companies competing against other cable companies, not cable companies competing against telecom companies. During the '90s the FTC ruled that Dish Network could not buy Direct TV because that would eliminate competition within their industry. Dish Network pointed out competition from cable companies. The FTC said that was not competition within their industry.

Get a clue.

Re:achieves monopoly? They are GRANTED monopolies (1)

rezme (1677208) | about 4 months ago | (#47384039)

DSL, Satellite, and Cable are not equal quality of service, so they can't compete with one another. There is no competition for comparable service.

Re:Simple economics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47369001)

Asking for "regulatory bodies that have backbone enough to say no to lobbyists and bribes" is like asking for "henhouse-guarding foxes that have backbone enough to not eat hens."

The *only* way to keep a regulatory body honest is to keep it publicly accountable. There are no exceptions, and there never will be.

Re:Simple economics. (1)

tburkhol (121842) | about 4 months ago | (#47367191)

Free market capitalism is very beneficial to the consumers...when there is open competition.

You have to remember how the government has framed "competition" for companies like Comcast. Comcast and Time Warner are not competitors, any more than New York's MTA is a competitor of San Francisco's BART. Comcast competes with other "Internet Service Providers" or "Video Services" in its exclusive territorial boundaries. ie: Comcast only competes with AT&T, Verizon, and Dish.

As long as you can manage the double-think of "competition" specifically excluding the relationship between multiple providers similar technology, you will understand how having a single, national, coax-cable-based company increases competition, specifically with the twisted-copper-based company (AT&T) and the satellite-based company. As long as you can manage the double-think of competition, you will see that there is no barrier to any new company developing and distributing "Internet" or "TV," as long as that company doesn't use coax or twisted-pair wires. See how easily Google has been able to enter the ISP business by using fiber?

Re:Simple economics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367323)

See how easily Google has been able to enter the ISP business by using fiber?

By using their monopolies as a search engine and vod provider to fund the process. While it presumably benefits the consumer this time they are abusing their monopoly to wedge into a new market, something that is strictly against the law. (But never enforced because government loves big companies.)
A smaller ISP wouldn't be able to compete this way, you need a secondary income to make that kind of investment.

Re:Simple economics. (1)

rezme (1677208) | about 4 months ago | (#47384079)

Not the same thing at all. Google has risen as the dominant search engine yes, but it's not like there's any real barriers to creating your own. It's just got to be really really good to take them down. Competition on the internet is possible for anyone, provided they've got a good enough product to compete with. There's no real option to compete with existing cable providers unless your local area decides to open the market to other options. I'm lucky enough to live in an area that actually does have competition within cable providers, but the circumstances of the national climate for cable companies has allowed my local options to keep their prices up.

Re:Simple economics. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367297)

Free market capitalism is very beneficial to the consumers...when there is open competition. Once someone wins, and becomes a monopoly, then *all* the benefits of this model vanish.

Most of the benefits vanish a lot sooner than that. Once there are few enough competitors for them to keep track on each other there is no longer any benefit to rock the boat since the competition will know what is going on and can follow easily.
With five or six companies "competing" there isn't really any competition going on, the numbers only prevents anyone from doing anything drastic in either direction.
You need something closer to twentyish companies competing in each region to get the benefits of competition, not three companies that cover different areas to avoid direct competition.

Re:Predictable outcome (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 months ago | (#47366849)

No, it's more like:

Customers: Please don't!

FTC: Hmm, the customers seem vocal about this one.

Time Warner/Comcast to FTC: Don't you dare...

FTC: OK, you can merge if you meet these tough conditions, and we'll closely monitor that you are doing so.

(One U.S. election cycle passes)

New FTC Head: What's good for Time Warner/Comcast is good for America! Full steam ahead, job-producers! You don't need these pesky conditions anymore.

Re:Predictable outcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367133)

Customers: Please don't!

Mass of one thousand unsolicited letters and emails: 10 pounds

$500,000 campaign contribution, in gold: 23 pounds

$500,000 campaign contribution, in $20 bills: 55 pounds.

After carefully weighing the opinions of stakeholders and interested parties, FTC finds compelling support in favor of the merger.

Scrutinized by federal officials (5, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 4 months ago | (#47364937)

The deal will indeed be scrutinized by federal officials, to ensure that campaign contributions are large enough.

feed.feedsky.com/RenewalCoupon4U (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47365065)

The deal will indeed be scrutinized by federal officials, to ensure that campaign contributions are large enough.

you are right

Re:Scrutinized by federal officials (2)

AnontheDestroyer (3500983) | about 4 months ago | (#47365269)

Yeah, but those companies have more speech, so they should be allowed to use more speech. And those companies are people. And the speech is money. And the legislation that eliminates one potential competitor actually doesn't eliminate any competition.

Is there ANY way this isn't backwards? Wow.

Re:Scrutinized by federal officials (4, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 4 months ago | (#47365445)

At no position on planet earth could any customer have asked themselves "Do I want to be a customer of Comcast or Time Warner Cable?"

That is the "backwards" portion of the proposal, namely the presumed backroom deals going on to ensure that customers would be prevented from having choice, and to ensure that should they dislike the level of service offered, their only option would be to move to a location where you have elected to allow a "competitor" to operate unrestricted by your presence.

The distinction that corporations should have a voice in the political process is itself asinine considering that a corporation is nothing more than a conglomeration of individuals who already possess said voice and can act independently. The removal of campaign contribution caps is itself a travesty considering that it allows for an extremely unleveled playing field. While we are at it, perhaps we should go back to pre-Jacksonian era voting rights and only extend them to individuals who own in excess of 50 acres of property while we are at it; allowing those who want their voice heard to be required to jump through quite specific hoops to buy their way into the system and making those who are "drains on the system" as stated by a our last Presidential Election's Runner-Up sit back and watch.

Re:Scrutinized by federal officials (2)

AnontheDestroyer (3500983) | about 4 months ago | (#47365675)

Well said. RE corporations: the standard Republican (conservative?) rejoinder is that unions could always contribute money, but I'm in favor of denying them all. Screw them. All only individual contributions up to $45, adjusted for inflation going forward. Make a law that prohibits politicians and staffers from joining lobbying outfits after their term is up to eliminate the opportunity for deferred under the table contributions. Then we'll finally have a government that responds to the true will of the people.

Re:Scrutinized by federal officials (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47366033)

What "presumed backroom deals"? In every place I have ever lived the deals have been very up front. Some local governmental agency offers a local monopoly to a company and in return they get "universal coverage". The company spends a lot to cover areas where they will never make the money back and then they spend eternity putting the screws to everyone.

Like... (1)

Coditor (2849497) | about 4 months ago | (#47364979)

anyone there cares about customers.

Hundreds? (1, Redundant)

tomhath (637240) | about 4 months ago | (#47364983)

TWC has 2.2 million cable TV, Internet, and phone customers in 1,150 New York communities, and hundreds of them have called...

I'm thinking that's not going to impress the FTC.

Re:Hundreds? (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#47365011)

Did you read? It is not the FTC, it is the state regulators.

Re:Hundreds? (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about 4 months ago | (#47365067)

Considering the whole Janet Jackson issue was due to 1(one) letter, maybe they will

Re:Hundreds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47365145)

due to 1(one) letter

Thanks for spelling out your number, I totally would not have figured it out otherwise!

Re:Hundreds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47366183)

No ragrets, know'm sayin?

Re:Hundreds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47370059)

the fcc should have fined the network and the nfl regardless of what and how much skin was exposed. janet jackson: worst half time show ever.

Re:Hundreds? (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | about 4 months ago | (#47366121)

TWC has 2.2 million cable TV, Internet, and phone customers in 1,150 New York communities, and hundreds of them have called...

I'm thinking that's not going to impress the FTC.

The good news is that Comcast is planning on losing 3.9 million customers to ease the approval process. NY could be a large chunk of that:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

Wow (2, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47365249)

This is like reading the comments section of a Fox news story. So everyone on slashdot wants to believe their own myopic version of reality so badly they're willing to accept something that so obviously biased, so obviously skewed that it's not dis-similar to a lot of the anti-global warming stories I see elsewhere?

The Comcast/Time-warner merger involves 32,000,000 customers total. The FCC got a total of less than 2000 comments... good or bad. The article only mentions ONE PERSON that stood up and spoke out against the deal at the hearing. ONE.

Now, I don't dispute that if you asked the majority of customers they'd probably prefer this deal didn't happen. But to portray it as if there is this massive customer revolt? This submission and that article are, at the very least, intentionally misleading.

Re:Wow (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47365451)

You can enjoy your own phone. Set your own plan on a long list of approved hardware devices under their own in store branding.
New fashion colors every few months and all the benefits of a dynamic and very competitive consumer hardware market.
Enjoy the freedom to select from several closed source or fully open source product lines.
If you like you can even write free or for profit programs for the 32,000,000 customers via dynamic and free to join online marketplace or shop.
Welcome to your new telco system. One Contract, One Network, Universal Surveillance.

Re:Wow (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47365805)

Welcome to your new telco system. One Contract, One Network, Universal Surveillance.

You mean like half the rest of the world? It's not uncommon for a country to have a single sudo-government agency that runs telecoms like its a utility. Again, you make it sound like we're talking about the end of democracy or something here. 2 Companies merged for gods sakes, it happens all the time. 0.0000625% could be bothered to submit an online complaint form in protest. ONE showed up at a hearing. I had more people complaining than that when I tried to put up a chain link fence 3yrs ago.

I bet more people have complained in slashdot threads on this topic than have complained to the FTC!

Re:Wow (1)

thePowersGang (1726438) | about 4 months ago | (#47366393)

I would argue that those who complain here are not eligable to complain to the FTC, due to being in other contries or just in areas not affected by the merge. As for pseudo-government agencies, if done right, they're the best option. Much like the road, power, and water infrastructure, last-mile telecom infrastructure should be handled by a government agency. This prevents the problems seen in the USA where providers settle into comfortable segmented monopolies, both with the physical links, and with the IP level interconnect.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367309)

Welcome to your new telco system. One Contract, One Network, Universal Surveillance.

You mean like half the rest of the world? It's not uncommon for a country to have a single sudo-government agency that runs telecoms like its a utility.

Yes, exactly. The difference is that in the US, the government maintains this myth of private competition within an open market, and the illusion that companies are highly motivated to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible price. In the free market, accountablity comes from customers' ability to choose among companies, and bad actors are supposedly destroyed by more competitive offerings.

When services are provided by a recognized monopoly or pseudo-government agency, accountability comes not just from regulatory oversight, but from legal structures, such as BT's obligations under the Communications Act and the Enterprise Act. People, through their government (such as Public Utilities Commissions) have a more explicit say in the operation of these companies.

In the US, by maintaining the illusion that telecom companies compete in an open market, customers expect that government regulators will have little power, so complaining is hardly useful. By maintaining the illusion that telecom companies compete in an open market, all of those complaints can be answered by "change providers." (regardless of whether this is technically possible or not) Generally, the US population has been cowed by the belief that the Free Market magically makes companies provide the best possible services and that the government responds more to cash-backed industry groups than to voter-backed advocacy groups. You can't fight city hall, and AT&T is your champion against Comcast.

I had more people complaining than that when I tried to put up a chain link fence 3yrs ago.

Because your neighbors recognize that you, like they, lack any modicum of actual power or influence. If your local car dealership, or Walmart, tries to put a chain link fence around their lot, I would expect few or no comments. One takes on opponents of his own size.

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 4 months ago | (#47365473)

As a slight point of clarification, one member of the public was granted time during the hearing to speak, and said person pre-request it and was asked to submit their script for review. It was not a "we will now open the floor" situation.

Re:Wow (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47365779)

As a slight point of clarification, one member of the public was granted time during the hearing to speak, and said person pre-request it and was asked to submit their script for review. It was not a "we will now open the floor" situation.

And the article makes it sound like the throngs of unwashed masses stormed the gates and threw off the shackles of their corporate overlords. I think I was a tad more accurate in my description.

Re:Wow (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 4 months ago | (#47369073)

No, that was your asinine assumption. But if you are so worried that only 3 people oppose this merger, why don't you do your own poll and see how many time warner customers want time warner to merge with comcast.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47368017)

2000 comments seems like an awful lot when you realize that all the other issues on the ECFS get 30 or less.

Re:Wow (2)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | about 4 months ago | (#47369027)

The article only mentions ONE PERSON that stood up and spoke out against the deal at the hearing. ONE.

And that's not by accident. Those hearings have limited seating. It has been well known that corporations pay "plants" to grab those seats well in advance, show up and claim their seat, and do nothing at all during the entire proceeding. Some of them are brazen enough to sleep. This effectively shuts out the dissenters and could be a 1st amendment violation.

Re:Wow (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 4 months ago | (#47369049)

RTFA: "The PSC merger proceeding has attracted nearly 2,000 comments, the vast majority of which ask the commission to block the sale"

And your problem with that statement is what now? Also the article used as examples two people and their reasons for opposing the merge.

Complaining that the article has not listed everyone who oppose this merger is just inane.

Re:Wow (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47370755)

New York is shaping up as a major battleground for Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Battleground eh?
0.0000625% of the customers complained.
That's not a battleground, that's one dude with jock itch.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47369169)

So only it took less than 2000 comments to cause their web server to choke? Seems a tad disingenuous. A cheap web server could easily handle that in a day. Perhaps the FCC didn't share the totality of messages they received? Reddit even ran a campaign, and the armies of reddit are vast. I think you're purposefully misrepresenting the dissent here.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47369543)

The Comcast/Time-warner merger involves 32,000,000 customers total. The FCC got a total of less than 2000 comments... good or bad. The article only mentions ONE PERSON that stood up and spoke out against the deal at the hearing. ONE.

I'm not surprised because this is really irrelevant. The two companies are already avoiding direct competition with each other. Merging them aren't going to change that.
It would have been different if there was actual competition already going on but it isn't so there is very little reason for the customers to be outraged by the merger.

Kill Your TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47365327)

None of this would matter if people would just kill their TV.

As for the Internets, that's different. Like, Daffy Duck compared to Hugh Jackhman different.

Re:Kill Your TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47365439)

Why bring violence into this?
And Huge What-man?

How to protest? (1)

Wolfrider (856) | about 4 months ago | (#47365435)

It would be nice if someone posted where we (the customers) can protest this sale... I'm OK with TWC right now, but Comcast is the devil. Really don't want them combining.

Re:How to protest? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 months ago | (#47365549)

Top down the political class knows where its re election cash is flowing from and why.
You are seeking capitalism, entrepreneurship and a vibrant local telco sector.
Think about your local laws and community broadband.
http://arstechnica.com/busines... [arstechnica.com]
Structural separation will ensure any local, state or national provider can offer its network down to homes without been shut out by any one regional monopoly.

Re:How to protest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47365629)

If you were angry enough about this, you would not need a link telling you how to protest. You would be inventing your own ways of protesting, and leading others in that protest.

As it stands, you are mildly in fear of a mild inconvenience, and would like something as convenient as a web form to fill out in order to feel like you helped prevent it.

And, precisely because most people feel this way, this sale will not be prevented.

Re:How to protest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367141)

Ok....so where to protest?
Where to send in a self-written letter of complaint?

to the PSC? To Time Warner? To Comcast? To your State Representative/Senator?

I find it interesting that every article about this seems not to include an address to send any complaints to. Maybe the "only 2000 people" is because they are hiding the ways to complain so as to falsely claim people aren't against it.
More backroom corporate deals that fail to account for the actual needs and desires of the communities that will be severely affected by this merger.

Re:How to protest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47368529)

Let me help you out. Call or e-mail Comcast customer service. Tell them that you are cancelling your subscription and why. If you are further motivated, encourage others to do the same.

I don't want Comcast too... (1)

antdude (79039) | about 4 months ago | (#47365437)

... But cable companies still have monopolies for the cities. We do need competition between cable companies like in my area. I can't get DSL, FIOS, etc. I can get dial-up, satellite, etc. but why when cable is affordable and fast. They can be faster and cheaper with competitions! :(

Everyone of them are crooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47365795)

That slam people into contract bundles they dont want and did not buy.
I am waiting for the news story of one tech getting his head chopped off.
That is why they dont go to your house to collect the equipment they so ready over charge you for.
Like Cox 8 bucks a month for modem ad says it is fastest just a 300 N my 1900 ac has a problem with all this theft by deception and not one DA in the whole country on it.
Next time the install get there drivers license so you know who you are dealing with and if they pull this shit on you go to their house and fuck them up.
Only way it is going to stop.

The subtitle (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 months ago | (#47366031)

The subtitle should be: From the Devil You Know Department.

$20545 per customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47366621)

What are they really buying? It's not about the network, because you could build a network for much less than $20k per subscriber, so what they are really bidding for is control of a regulatory monopoly.

If it were not for regulatory capture there would be plenty of competition to TWC, and this deal would be a non-starter, it is only through government control and intervention that TWC and Comcast are able to maintain such a stranglehold on American telecommunications.

Good job, America, Good job.

-puddingpimp

Good luck New York (1)

sabbede (2678435) | about 4 months ago | (#47367221)

Way too much market power for one company.

Here's what you do (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#47367417)

Every day, every single day, snatch up one employee of Time Warner or Comcast. And you burn them alive in front of their family. Continue until their business model changes.

Re:Here's what you do (1)

SirTicksAlot (576078) | about 4 months ago | (#47367907)

Every day, every single day, snatch up one executive of Time Warner or Comcast. And you burn them alive in front of their family. Continue until their business model changes.

FTFY

Re:Here's what you do (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | about 4 months ago | (#47368487)

Thank you for the fix. I know firsthand that there exist TW employees who are fighting to stop this. They have more reason than we as the customers do, because layoffs almost always follow mergers.

TWC customers are morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47367477)

Comcast has great internet (at least in my area).

Given that Comcast and TW don't have any overlapping areas (for the most part), there's no reduction in competition, so no reason for the FTC/FCC to block...

Re:TWC customers are morons (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 4 months ago | (#47369101)

Wow someone with comcast's dick in their mouth. Yo moron, you might want to ask why there is no competition in the first place. Then ask yourself how reducing competition by reducing the number of companies in an industry is a good thing for the consumers. Considering Comcast said prices will not go down but up, this is not beneficial to time warner customers.

TWC customers are morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47369229)

You really don't see a problem in a single company having a near monopoly in a single area and also biasing competitors ability to transmit across their networks? You're the moron. It doesn't matter if they had pudding internet speed. The problem is a monolithic monopoly with one of the largest political donors that exists. They already purchase almost every single regulator and politician. That's a major problem.

None of this matters. (1)

Zooperman (1182761) | about 4 months ago | (#47367895)

The merger will go through, regardless of what anybody says. Dollars are the literal coin of the realm, and Congress is incapable of responding to anything else. And, as has been pointed out, these companies have been spending millions to get their attention. So get ready for lousier service, data caps and higher prices. Because it's "good for the consumer".

Beg all you want... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 4 months ago | (#47368011)

...little people, for that's all you lot are. A bunch of beggars. We will decide what's best for you and we will tell our underlings who pretend to regulate us what that is. You will kindly shut up and enjoy your bread and circuses.

Regards,
Your Telecom Corporate Overlords

Consumer Ultimatums (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47369225)

Again, I see these things as somewhat easy -- TWC Customers, call _Comcast_ and threaten to leave TWC if they proceed with the sale. Then, when they do anyway, and the FTC approves it (read: says "go job creators") then actually leave. Actually go to your town meetings and push to have it switch, and if it can't then write the FTC en masse and complain about the (in)effective monopoly, and go with a smaller company (which gets reduced rates from those you're trying to get rid of), etc. Don't give in because you can't fight on the level the TelCo's want you to fight on. People still have sway power when they're not fragmented by cheap (political) ads.

How Time Warner Cable and Comcast work (1)

mhollis (727905) | about 4 months ago | (#47369327)

I have dealt with Time Warner Cable, specifically in New York City. I have also dealt with Comcast. I think this merger is a natural for them because of several factors:

  • These companies are just like one another. They victimize the consumer.
    • If they say they will come between the hours of 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM, they will tend to come past 3:30 PM.
    • they will not be able to schedule you in again for another week, because you were not there when their technician called.
    • If you call them for technical support for any problem, you are the problem and they treat you like you are.
    • They both claim that degrading their signal actually helps you.
    • Time Warner Cable and Comcast earned bottom-of-the-barrel scores in a consumer satisfaction survey [theacsi.org] published on May 20th, 2014.
    • Both companies have blocked broadcasters on their networks because they have walked out on talks for fees for "retransmission consent."
    • Neither company has actually tried to speed up Internet service in any significant way in over five years.
    • The production company (NBC) owned by Comcast gets an unfair advantage over other broadcastersÃ"then uses that advantage to transmit nothing special or unique

I think they should rename the combined company "Crappy Cable Internet and Phone" which will appropriately re-define what the consumer is about to experience. Renaming themselves CCIP would be a positive step.

Current Comcast customer against it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47369661)

As a Comcast customer, I don't want the merger to go through because I live in the Detroit market. The plan is to spin off Detroit into a small Comcast/Charter shared business that won't benefit from big deals for TV contracts or get significant network upgrades for Internet. I don't even know if I'll be allowed to keep my business class Internet service after the deal or what the new terms might be.

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