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back to article Comcast to acquire Warner Cable – reports

The US broadband market looks set for a shake-up, with multiple reports tipping Comcast to acquire rival Warner Cable. CNBC claims it broke the story and The Wall Street Journal has since published a (paywalled) story reporting the same details: it's a $US45bn all-stock deal. Comcast and Warner are respectively the USA's number …

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Probably this will get a pass

In the US, competition between cable companies is nonexistent. Local governments define exclusive areas that the companies operate in, so it's not like finding myself (a Time Warner customer) suddenly a Comcast or Charter customer would be something I could do anything about. I can get whatever is in my area, and that's it.

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Regulators

US Regulators are bought and paid for on this one. The cable companies own the FCC - past and present FCC Chairmen are cable industry lobbyists. Their media arms own the Justice department thanks to "Hollywood" Joe Biden's appointments - see "Kim Dotcom". They own the FTC. The US government is going to roll over like a puppy begging for a belly rub this time. This will be approved in record time. Opponents will likely be labelled enemy combatants.

You have to understand something. Media and cable companies hold huge sway in a democratic society - especially when the vote is always so close either way. Comcast and Time Warner cable own considerable content properties that define the culture and they own the video pipe that pacifies the populace in doses of four hours per day. They create and deliver the mental space that many voters live in. No politician wants to be their enemy because a few points this way or that define whether they keep their seat and either Comcast or TWC could promise that, but between them they can deliver it. These media companies control who sits in congress, who is president.

This isn't a merger. It's a coup.

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@Mikel, What are babbling about?

You stated "Their media arms own the Justice department thanks to "Hollywood" Joe Biden's appointments -"

Joe Biden, as Vice President, doesn't appoint anybody. I know the commentaries on this site have trouble criticizing Obama but he is the one who made the appointments.

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Re: @Mikel, What are babbling about?

In the US political process although the President makes the appointments by law, choosing a few of them is one of the concessions given to a vice president to get him on board.

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Re: @Mikel, What are babbling about?

You still don't get it.

Obama made the decision. Whatever he promised to Biden does not matter. Obama is very well backed by the Hollywood crowd.

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Childcatcher

Won't someone think of the 3 million?

Comcast is allegedly going to "divest" of 3 million subscribers, apparently to limit the debt load of the "merger." What happens to them if there's no other cable/cable-Internet provider to pick them up?

My area was served by Adelphia (remember them?) until Comcast bought them up. I just know Comcast is going to kick us to the curb, and I am NOT going back to ATT DSL!

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Re: Won't someone think of the 3 million?

If they're doing it to cut debt load, they'll be selling off the bit of Comcast that serves those 3m - so they wouldn't just switch off service to a bunch of customers. Even if they did switch it off (probably not allowed by the local regulator), someone else would want to take over the existing wires and run a service: the expensive bit, all the digging to put in the wires, is already done and paid for.

Comcast don't seem that bad by comparison - the UK only has a single cable company now (still named Virgin, but now owned by Liberty) - with no plans for IPv6, no static IP options - though at 120/11.7 Mbps, they're theoretically the fastest around, apart from harshly traffic shaping anything they consider P2P traffic and being coy about the details.

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Meh

In related news,

Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops sign peace treaty, as strange light in the sky grows larger...

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Boffin

This is evil

I don't know about TWC, but Comcast are the guys who were forging RST packets and tried to get away with it in court. They're EVIL. Hopefully this will fuel the Net Neutrality fire...

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Pint

rare opportunity..

actually my apartment block here just moved to comcast to serve 100 residents or so via wifi. I have independent DSL, so I am in a position to test various features of both routes... more or less simulatneously (I have wifi enabled desktop).

Of course , my DSL is via AT&T wires, so who knows, eh?

P.

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Meanwhile in Canada

Similar situation in Canada. You can choose ADSL or cable, but there are substantially only one of each in a geographical area. The three biggies (with a fourth lacking a cell division) own our cable, phone lines, internet, cell phones, and most of the tv, radio, cable channels and newspapers. And their corporate owned gov't is slowly strangling the CBC, the only alternative radio and tv. It isn't healthy for a supposed democracy.

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