Lots of people hate the idea of letting Comcast and Time Warner Cable merge but don’t expect our esteemed elected officials to care. Politico documents how Comcast really does have all its bases covered in the Capitol when it comes to making campaign contributions to influential members of Congress. In fact, Politico’s examination of public records reveals that Comcast has donated money to “almost every member of Congress who has a hand in regulating it,” including “all but three members of the Senate Judiciary Committee” and “32 of the 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee.” In all, Politico says Comcast has already spent $2 million for this year’s campaign cycle after spending roughly $3.5 million in 2011 and 2012.
Following news that Comcast and Netflix had reached a deal whereby Netflix would pay the Internet Service Provider a fee in order to ensure Netflix subscribers have a smooth viewing experience, people panicked and cried that net neutrality was dead. While that’s not entirely true, what is now a matter of fact is that Netflix service performance on Comcast’s network has improved fairly substantially since the company ponied up what many refer to as a “ransom.” More →
Netflix may own the streaming rights for House of Cards in the U.S., but fans don’t necessarily need a subscription to watch the show as long as they’re Comcast customers, Variety reveals. The cable operator has inked a deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, which manages international and home video distribution for House of Cards, to offer customers access to season one of the critically acclaimed Netflix drama via the recently launched Xfinity Store. More →
As it stands today, Comcast is a massive service provider that controls home and business broadband offerings across a number of key markets. Following the company’s $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable — should it gain approval from shareholders and regulators — Comcast will control a huge majority of the broadband market in the U.S. This seems like a fairly obvious statement, but two maps created recently by an Internet marketing firm give us a great visual representation of just how much of the country Comcast will control. More →
If you ever want to find a skull-crushingly stupid opinion on anything, you normally need look no further than articles written by assorted Forbes contributors. And sure enough, Forbes has now published an article by one Doug Brake that argues that the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is really awesome for consumers and that the only people who are making a stink about it are a bunch of “paranoid bloggers.” More →
Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) warned regulators in a letter last week that the proposed merger between cable industry giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable should be scrutinized because Comcast has ”a history of breaching its legal obligations to consumers.” The letter, addressed to Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, saw Franken voice serious concerns that the proposed $45 billion merger would be horrible for consumers in a number of ways. More →
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have never been beloved but the two companies’ recent decision to merge has made them disliked even more. YouGov’s BrandIndex has found that perceptions of both Comcast and Time Warner Cable have tanked even further following their merger announcement as more consumers are seemingly worried that the newly merged company will use its clout to jack up prices even more. In terms of perceived quality and whether consumers would recommend their services to others, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are now well below any other major cable provider in the United States. More →
So, you think the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is a horrible idea. You aren’t alone. However, what you think matters very little because Comcast has deployed an army of lobbyists on Capitol Hill to do its bidding and make sure its proposed TWC merger will sail through with as little resistance as possible. More →
The quality of Netflix streaming has tanked over the past several months at several ISPs because Netflix and the ISPs have been wrangling over who should pick up the tab for all the added traffic being generated by Netflix’s HD video streaming service. ISPs such as Verizon and Comcast have been asking Netflix and bandwidth providers such as Cogent Communications to pay additional fees that will help them deal with added traffic loads. Netflix, meanwhile, has asked ISPs to peer directly with its new video content delivery network as an alternative to charging additional fees. More →
Not surprisingly, we can now count DirecTV CEO Mike White among those who oppose Comcast’s proposed Time Warner Cable acquisition. During the pay TV provider’s earnings call on Thursday afternoon, White was asked to share his feelings on the merger that would see two of the country’s largest TV and Internet providers merge into a single giant. According to an account from The Wall Street Journal, White said that the deal would create ”unprecedented media concentration in one company,” and the combined entity would have an “effective monopoly” in two-thirds of the United States. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen had previously said that there would be some benefits to the Comcast-TWC merger, but he expressed doubt that regulators would ever approve the deal.
Comcast has said repeatedly that it has no intention of throttling Netflix’s traffic and there may be a good reason to believe it’s telling the truth. Not because Comcast executives are benevolent cherubs, of course, but more because they’re smart enough to know that throttling Netflix’s traffic would lead to a public relations battle that they would lose very, very badly. More →
Who runs the Internet? Is it Google, the global search leader that trades fantastic free services for borderline frightening insights into user behavior? Is it Apple, whose iPhones and iPads are reportedly used to connect people to the Internet more than any other mobile devices on the planet by a massive margin? Is it the Illuminati? According to a new feature from the team that taught us how to disappear online, there are actually six organizations that secretly run the Internet and you might not have considered any of them. More →
Get ready to be knocked out of your seats, readers — consumers think a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is a bad idea. Comcast and Time Warner Cable confirmed earlier this month that they have reached a merger agreement that could see Comcast acquire Time Warner Cable for about $45 billion. The pay TV giants might have a few pals in high places in Washington, but they still face an uphill battle as regulators scrutinize the proposed deal. Beyond regulators, what do consumers think? Not surprisingly, a new study suggests that they don’t like the idea one bit. More →