This is some really good, I-am-not-fucking-around mayor talk right here:
I am very troubled by the proposed Comcast / Time Warner Merger. If the merger goes through, the company would control roughly three quarters of the nation’s cable and internet service. They will also be one of the largest content providers and news distributors in the world. Less competition in these three areas will be bad for consumers, bad for the future of the internet, and bad for democracy.
But does it stop there, just offering some gruff disapproval? No, my friends, it does not. There's a threat of real action:
While the City does not have the power to prevent Comcast’s $45 billion purchase of Time Warner, we can take steps to make sure competition is stronger in Seattle. One step will be to evaluate our City’s relationship with Comcast. The City’s franchise agreement with Comcast expires January 20, 2016. As part of the renewal process, the Office of Cable will conduct a review of Comcast’s relationship with the City. Part of the review process will include a telephone survey of Seattle residents; an on-line survey; community meetings; and focus groups. I strongly urge Comcast customers to participate in this process once it launches. If we determine Comcast has not lived up to their obligations, the City of Seattle will not renew the franchise agreement.
Democracy thrives when information is readily available to anyone regardless of their economic status. Media monopolies threaten the free flow of information, make competition nearly impossible, and put too much control into one company’s hands. I hope regulators prevent this merger, while I do my part to foster competition in Seattle.
Mike McGinn tried to throw Comcast's donations to Murray at him during the campaign, and they didn't seem to stick. But people have since wondered if Murray will really be all that tough on the much-hated cable company. And while we'd like him to get to work on building municipal broadband ASAP, threatening to not renew Comcast's franchise agreement with the city is ballsy and great.
High five, Ed. And Seattleites, Redditors, all of you: You hate Comcast? Give the city your feedback, for chrissake.