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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Comcast to Acquire Time Warner Cable in $44 Billion Deal

Posted by on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 7:52 PM

See, this is why Comcast can't afford to invest in the fiber optic network necessary to bring affordable gigabit speeds to Seattle broadband subscribers:

Comcast will announce a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal worth more than $44 billion that will unite the biggest and second largest cable television operators in the country, according to people briefed on the matter.

Priorities.

 

Comments (32) RSS

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1
I'm surprised regulators let this one through.
Posted by wxPDX on February 12, 2014 at 8:13 PM · Report this
2
Well, pending FCC approval of the #1 and #2 largest cable companies combining. Could go the way of the TMobile-ATT/Sprint deal if the FCC stays consistent about telecom.

(ie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempted_p…
http://www.zdnet.com/bonehead-merger-ave…
Sprint is rethinking its potential move to acquire T-Mobile after regulators were opposed to the concept.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission viewed the combination of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers as a tough sell.)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-12…
A tie-up between Comcast and Time Warner Cable would face tough scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission, Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson LLC, said in an interview in January. The merged company would account for almost three-quarters of the cable industry, according to the National Cable Television Association.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 12, 2014 at 8:15 PM · Report this
Knat 3
With this merger, Comcast will be a fierce competitor in the Consumerist's "worst company in America" poll in the near future. No doubt they're hungry for another win after taking home the Golden Poo in 2010 and only making it as far as third place since.
Posted by Knat on February 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 4
Now if only they'd merge with AT&T, American Airlines, WalMart, Exxon, Philip Morris, and Qworst/Centurylink--why, they'd become the most loved Super Star Destroyer corporation IN THE WORLD!
Posted by Original Andrew on February 12, 2014 at 8:35 PM · Report this
Goldy 5
@2 Sure hope the deal would be blocked, but there's a difference between cable and wireless, in that wireless uses limited public spectrum.
Posted by Goldy on February 12, 2014 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 6
Are Comcast customers telling Comcast to bring affordable high speed broadband to Seattle or do they just get mad and leave?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on February 12, 2014 at 8:42 PM · Report this
7
@5, luckily, the view spectrum as slightly lower on the list of priorities.

http://www.fcc.gov/what-we-do
In its work facing economic opportunities and challenges associated with rapidly evolving advances in global communications, the agency capitalizes on its competencies in:

Promoting competition, innovation and investment in broadband services and facilities
Supporting the nation's economy by ensuring an appropriate competitive framework for the unfolding of the communications revolution
Encouraging the highest and best use of spectrum domestically and internationally
Revising media regulations so that new technologies flourish alongside diversity and localism
Providing leadership in strengthening the defense of the nation's communications infrastructure
Posted by ChefJoe on February 12, 2014 at 8:48 PM · Report this
CC-Rob 8
What is this talk of "Regulators." I heard they existed once in the past.
Posted by CC-Rob on February 12, 2014 at 9:06 PM · Report this
raindrop 9
This is good news for Fox news haters. Comcast will own both MSNBC and CNN, and will probably combine them into something new and better. And if they get better talent and production values maybe liberals will have an alternative news outlet that they can point to without embarrassment instead of fearing that their ideas are not measuring up to public scrutiny as exposed by Fox News.
Posted by raindrop on February 12, 2014 at 9:18 PM · Report this
theophrastus 10
David Cohen, Comcast's head of lobbying, corporate communications, ... was a guest at the WH state dinner last night.
the republicans are owned by the military industrial complex, the petroleum/energy industry, and a few others; but the democrats are owned by telecommunications and entertainment industries. (big-pharma and health insurance sort've split 'em)
Posted by theophrastus on February 12, 2014 at 9:20 PM · Report this
Teslick 11
9: Time Warner Cable was spun off 5 years ago, so they have no affiliation with Time Warner's channels (CNN, HBO, etc).
Posted by Teslick on February 12, 2014 at 9:27 PM · Report this
12
@9 think harder Homer.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on February 12, 2014 at 9:32 PM · Report this
13
Why would Comcast (or anyone) care about bringing affordable gigabit speeds to Seattle broadband subscribers (or any subscribers)? They're not a public interest corporation.
Posted by sarah70 on February 12, 2014 at 10:08 PM · Report this
raindrop 14
@11: Okay, if so, then the first sentence in the CNN Wikipedia article needs to be updated.

@12: I always try to think harder. But what do the Iliad and the Odyssey have to do with it?

Posted by raindrop on February 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 15
@9,
That was a fairly decent trolling attempt. The set up was good but I'm not convinced you stuck the landing.

I'll award it a 7/10.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 12, 2014 at 11:20 PM · Report this
IndicaDogwalk 16
@1 - You are surprised that regulators let this through? Who do you think owns those regulators, legislators, lobbyists and politicians that let this through? The mega rich, the true power elite. The ones whose names we don't hear much of, but who control truly massive amounts of capital and power. These are the men who architected the Comcast deal. They are profit driven beyond reason.

The deals done at this level are so loaded with backroom payoffs that they are riddled to the core with corruption. Do a little research on who the men at the top of Comcast and Time Warner are. Check out their salaries and their affiliated organizations, both political and commercial.

The people at the top didn't get there by being good people.
Posted by IndicaDogwalk on February 12, 2014 at 11:32 PM · Report this
17
@5

...and coax is limited by licensed market, restricted right of way and other regulations. Whether scarcity is natural or artificial the result is the same.
Posted by No room in the palace on February 12, 2014 at 11:38 PM · Report this
raindrop 18
@15: Why, thank you Urgutha. Although my mission is to educate and not to troll.

Now go out and have a drink on Colfax before the bars close.
Posted by raindrop on February 12, 2014 at 11:43 PM · Report this
19
@14

Watching gossip rag news and referencing Wikipedia as your source is appropriately telling of your "informed" opinion.

Arguing about the quality of television "news" is a debate best left to bored residents of retirement communities who need everything heavily processed before they can even attempt to digest any of it.

You must be reeeeeally old, raindrop.
Posted by Too young to wait all day for yesterday's opinions on February 13, 2014 at 12:05 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 20
@6, every six months I call and ask Comcast why I can't get internet faster than the "Blast" that I currently have. And every six month's I'm told that "my area doesn't support anything faster" I live in Zip code 98115: NE Seattle
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on February 13, 2014 at 4:00 AM · Report this
21
And media ownership gets concentrated into even fewer hands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentrat…
Posted by TechBear on February 13, 2014 at 6:34 AM · Report this
22
@9 If CNN wanted to provide better news, they'd simply broadcast CNN International.

Also, if you're complaining about a lack of decent news on cable tv, why are you ignoring Al Jazeera America? They've been amazing if you actually want to learn something.
Posted by Solk512 on February 13, 2014 at 7:58 AM · Report this
dlauri 23
I've got Time Warner here in Ohio as the lesser of two evils (TWC vs ATT). If I end up with Comcast, I'll seriously consider switching to ATT's Uverse.
Posted by dlauri http://www.davidlauri.com on February 13, 2014 at 8:02 AM · Report this
24
Goldy, your headline is misleading. Comcast isn't acquiring anything yet, the feds haven't even weighed in. Did you miss that sentence in the NYT piece you linked to?
Posted by Jen7 on February 13, 2014 at 8:10 AM · Report this
25
Maybe if Comcast didn't waste their money on contractors who break into your home to tell you about Comcast's "great" deals...
Posted by treehugger on February 13, 2014 at 8:27 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 26
Merging the two biggest cable companies. What could possibly go wrong?
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 13, 2014 at 8:37 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 27
@18,
I'm saving up my drinking time for this Saturday. But yes, I will be on Colfax.

Colfax Ave.'s reputation is highly misunderstood.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on February 13, 2014 at 8:42 AM · Report this
28
Screw 'em both.

I finally cut the cord, as did a neighbor.

Got low cost internet and low cost cell phone.

Now I watch what TV I want on my computer.
Posted by judybrowni on February 13, 2014 at 9:03 AM · Report this
29
TWC is so bad here in the MidWest that they had this fairly laid-back girl fantasizing about blowing up their headquarters by the time I finally switched.
It doesn't sound like Comcast is any better.
Perhaps it's a message from the universe to watch less TV.
Posted by DanFan503 on February 13, 2014 at 9:27 AM · Report this
30
If the merger brings an end to the Time Warner Cable combined eye/ear logo, that will be the only good outcome. I've always found that logo creepy.
Posted by WestSeven on February 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
31
@28 judybrowni:

Screw 'em both.

I finally cut the cord, as did a neighbor.

Got low cost internet and low cost cell phone.

Now I watch what TV I want on my computer.


I did this as well about 5 years ago now. It's a working strategy, but depends heavily on where you live in Seattle. There are few affordable choices for high-speed internet other than the cable providers and CenturyLink.

Comcast is already the largest ISP in the US. If the Comcast/TWC deal makes it through the regulatory process, it will seriously damage the marketplace for direct-to-consumer internet access, as well as any remaining hope for net neutrality rules.

The window for "cutting the cord" is closing. We are heading for a new era of Ma Bell-style market consolidation. Most of the Sloggers here are probably too young (by several decades) to remember the days when your telecom choice was which color Princess phone you wanted, and the act of plugging in a 24k baud dial-up modem was technically illegal. It's worth checking out the work that groups like Public Knowledge are doing -- I hope it's more than a rear-guard action...
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on February 13, 2014 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 32
I hate cable and am happy they have been losing customers at an increasing pace. This will only speed their demise.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on February 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM · Report this

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