As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to be wary of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, GigaOM gives us a new one: Data caps. GigaOM points out that Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are the only two major cable companies in the United States that haven’t yet imposed data caps on their customers but that could change if TWC gets gobbled up by Comcast as part of a $45 billion acquisition. More →
Comcast thinks very, very poorly of our intelligence. That’s the only conclusion I can come to after reading up on the company’s testimony in the Senate on Wednesday in which it hilariously tried to convince us that it’s really a tiny little underdog in the content distribution world that needs to merge with Time Warner Cable so it can stand up to the big bullies at Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. To illustrate this point, as LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik points out, the company passed around a ridiculous chart showing how small its market cap is compared to its “competitors.”
The proposed $45 billion merger between pay TV and Internet service giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable has been met with staunch opposition from consumers, rivals and several watchdog groups. On Wednesday, Comcast will make its case to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in an effort to convince regulators and the general public that the merger benefits not just the companies involved and their shareholders, but also American consumers. More →
According to data from the Federal Communications Commission, about one-third of households in the United States have no choice when it comes to home broadband service. In other words, if they want reasonably fast home Internet service and they live in an area with access to wireline broadband, there is only one company they can pay. Another 37% of American households have a choice between just two Internet service providers for home broadband, which is defined by the FCC as Internet service with download speeds of just 4Mbps or more.
Why is the current state of home Internet service such a mess for consumers? One of the biggest reasons is so obvious that you might not have even considered it. More →
Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes and rock-bottom customer satisfaction ratings for America’s two largest cable companies. Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, is touting a new survey from the Consumer Reports National Research Center showing that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are two of the three least liked pay TV providers in the United States.
It’s still up for debate whether EA took anything away from being named the worst company in America for two years straight, but the company’s victory (?) lap is finally ending. Consumerist has revealed that EA lost out to Time Warner Cable in the first round of voting for this year’s ‘Worst Company in America’ bracket, forcing video game fans to direct their rage elsewhere for the remainder of the competition.
Talk about nice work if you can get it! Bloomberg reports that Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus will receive a compensation package worth $80 million if Comcast successfully buys his company, despite the fact that he’s only held his position for just under two months. Bloomberg says that “the golden-parachute payout includes $56.5 million in restricted stock units and unvested options and $20.5 million in cash” along with a $2.5 million performance bonus and other goodies. More →
Time Warner Cable doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. Its customer satisfaction is incredibly low, ranking second to last behind only Comcast in a survey taken last year. Its customer service is routinely criticized and it tied with AT&T for the worst customer service in another survey earlier this year. Its proposed merger is incredibly unpopular, with only 6% of consumers approving of the deal. This bad reputation is beginning to hurt TWC, too, as it lost 825,000 pay TV subscribers last year. More →
No one can exactly accuse the editors of The Economist of being wild-eyed populists or enemies of capitalism, which is why it’s noteworthy that the magazine has taken a pretty strong stance against the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In a leading editorial arguing against the merger, The Economist says that combining the two companies would create “a Goliath far more fearsome than the latest ride at the Universal Studios theme park” that would have entirely too much control over broadband infrastructure in the United States. More →
Internet service provider Time Warner Cable recently made customers an offer. In exchange for a discount of roughly $60 per year on their home Internet service, subscribers could opt for a new service plan that capped their data at 30 gigabytes each billing period. While the prospect of saving money on steep monthly cable bills is certainly appealing, TWC customers have spoken loud and clear: No, we don’t want data caps. More →
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.
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 →