back to article Time Warner merger great for Comcast, but not for anybody else

The merger of the two biggest cable companies in the US has set the markets aflutter, but the government has the final say on whether to allow the deal, and regulators will now be taking a long, stern look at how the deal with change the US TV and broadband market. Under the terms of the merger, Comcast will pay out $45.2bn in …

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" It even touted Google Fiber as serious competition,"

Funny how they are "serious competition" when its only in like 3 city's atm

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Rol
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I assume, once the usual brown envelopes have been passed around, the whole business of monopolising a market will continue unabated.

Strange really, when I consider my mentor in economics regarded monopolies as the greatest threat to a free market.

I guess he'd be considered a leftie terrorist in America.

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I don't think I am in favor of this merger

I'd only approve it if Comcast signed a compliance agreement endorsing net neutrality in its territory. Otherwise, between being the dominant ISP that was against net neutrality and a cable TV provider, they have a built-in incentive to throttle Netflix, Hulu, etc. to better force people to buy their pay TV package.

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Anonymous Coward

$200 for 100Mbps? That is a terrible price, for half that money I get 300Mbps with a free upgrade to 1Gbps later this year and those speeds are symmetric.

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Welcome to the Land of The Fee.

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Where ? I'll move for that kind of speed.

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10Mbps or 20Mbps or so, is plenty for any home user who isn't running a server or some other "hobby" thing. That speed allows for 2 or 3 simultaneous HD video streams. Right? It's not about the speed you get, IT'S ABOUT THE DATA CAP!!. Comcast's plan/policy to cap and meter DATA use is the real price gouge that's going to happen.

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Comcast needs to be forced to divest NBC and other networks

Having a provider with 30% of the market, and owning one of the major networks and a large number of regional sports networks has anticompetitive behavior written all over it. Comcast already uses its regional sports networks to exclude the competition, it will be 10x worse if this merger goes through.

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Anonymous Coward

Game over.

Watch the timing on the approval - there are already people saying this is a done deal. Looks like all the up-front work to assure approval (dinners, hookers, cash, etc.) is long done. Somehow I think the way the congressmen got screwed will feel quite different from what happens to you and me.

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Re: Game over.

"Somehow I think the way the congressmen got screwed will feel quite different from what happens to you and me."

This is also the year that we get to vote for said Congresspersons. They may be the ones getting screwed latter this year.

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Re: Game over.

They don't have to approve it until after the elections. That way by the time the polls open again we will have forgotten all about it. Expect major "politically educational" content and heavy pseudo news muckraking of the deal's opponents in the mean time. The timing is perfect.

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What?

There just aren't any "conditions," "concessions," or "promises" that I can imagine that would make this merger acceptable. None. This collision of two garbage trucks is all about one thing: Internet service. Even -if- the "regulators" required separation of the cable TV business from the ISP business, the combine would happily ditch the TV part. It is a dead business model.

The internet service part in such a huge entity is a license to print money. For lobbying, electioneering and just plain bribing. It is already the most profitable product the monopoly cable systems in the US sell. By far. The merger should not be allowed, and tough new regulation needs to be enacted. But probably won't be. America stinks at this.

For the vast bulk of Americans, there is only one choice for high-speed broadband: The local monopoly cable company. No competition. Satellites can't do it and AT&T sucks at it and always will. Even with "net neutrality" they are already free to cap and meter internet service as Comcast already does. And without "net neutrality" they will be free to throttle and block sites they "don't like" and put up toll booths for services that compete with them. Of course they're not stupid and they won't do this overnight--although I see signs on my TWC internet that Netflix is already being tampered with.

Monopolies always exhibit near-zero innovation--even regulated monopolies. It's just a fact. No incentive to innovate. If we allow this merger to happen, and don't move as a country to more stringently regulate and monitor the existing monopoly service providers it will be completely pathetic.

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Re: What?

I've noticed too that TWC seem to throttle the connection at peak viewing times, they will probably claim it's traffic, but it seems to consistent in terms of timeframe.

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Re: What?

Very true. You might do a "speed test" against some third-party site and see you're getting your contracted 20Mbs or whatever, but if the streaming site itself offers a bandwidth test, you'll see something very different. Up and down even in minute by minute increments. TWC is monkeying with Netflix, I'd bet on it. And this is something only three people might know about: Some non-CEO executive, a data-center manager, and the sysadmin who wrote the script, who's now been laid off.

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Re: What?

As to "Monopolies always exhibit near-zero innovation--even regulated monopolies. It's just a fact", it is always worth noting that ATT sat on the discovery of magnetic tape. For damn near 50 years. Because? Ooooh, it could hurt our bottom line! [ok, there's a joke there, but I'll leave that to you]. Imagine what that discovery could have done to the war effort. And yes, I mean THAT one; the big one. There is no question that Bell Labs was awesome. But there certainly are questions as to what it might have hided.

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Re: What?

It is sad to say but I'd bet that there is far more than 3 people. And that they are all making a helluvalotta money.

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Three Things to Remember

There are three concepts to keep in mind about this state of affairs: 1) Cap and Meter, 2) Throttle and Block, 3) Toll Booths for Competitors. It's all you need to know.

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Re: Three Things to Remember

You really need to check out our politics here in the US. It is brutal. Kansas has effected a law that would have made Google fiber illegal in the first city that it was rolled out in. No guesses on who lobbied for that.

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Re: Three Things to Remember

With legislators easily corrupted at the Federal, State, and Local level big business gets what it wants.

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What the what?

I'm surprised there are only 14 comments on this article. People need to really get up in arms about this proposed "merger." To paraphrase an old saying, "The only thing required for bad things to happen is for good people to do nothing."

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Re: What the what?

I up-voted 7 of them.

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other thread...

Well I commented on the other thread that quite by chance, I will be able to see comcast vs non-comcast simultaneously.

This is scandalous, but this is the landscape that been slowly manipulated to be "too big to ignore".

I have floated this idea before, but perhaps there is an upper limit to corporation size...?

There is obviously a sweet spot when N>3...

P.

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Evil

When evil merges with evil, does it then officially become megaevil? Inquiring, and, hell, even us US citizens, want to know.

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Stop

Cable televison is on its way out anyway. It is going the way of the video store.

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Anonymous Coward

Cable TV is on its way out. This is true, but this is about controlling the broadband "pipes". Whether you use Netflix or Hulu or something else instead of subscribing to cable you need the pipe. And be prepared for even higher prices for that.

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