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Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable In $44.2 Billion All-Stock Deal

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the you-can-expect-payment-between-noon-and-4pm dept.

Businesses 303

symbolset writes "CNBC and many others report Time Warner Cable has agreed to be acquired by Comcast for $44.2 billion. From the article: 'The agreement comes more than eight months after Charter Communictions and Liberty Media made their first foray to try and negotiate a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable (a story broken by CNBC) and follows months of conversations between Time Warner Cable and Comcast about the prospect of a Comcast acquisition of the company. '"

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ogahdno (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237133)

/nuffsaid

Re:ogahdno (1, Insightful)

tedgyz (515156) | about 9 months ago | (#46237389)

Agreed!

I love my Time Warner service. Comcast will find a way to ruin it.

Re:ogahdno (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46237493)

Agreed!

I love my Time Warner service. Comcast will find a way to ruin it.

At what point do we begin to want Government Interference?

Re:ogahdno (5, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about 9 months ago | (#46237733)

Agreed!

I love my Time Warner service. Comcast will find a way to ruin it.

At what point do we begin to want Government Interference?

Right about now actually.

There's the whole "localized monopoly" thing. But this beast is just about the sole provider for a huge swath of the US now, and people's ability to choose providers is in jeopardy.

Re:ogahdno (4, Interesting)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 9 months ago | (#46237835)

I've been all for the government to claim ownership of the physical aspect of these networks for years and then sell the physical service to ISPs for over a decade. The companies have proved time and again, regardless of massive subsidies, that they only care about milking users and not the experience of those users. Hence 1.5m/128k ADSL 'competing' with 10-25m/512k cable internet and 3G/4G capped wireless networks more recently.

At least with the government doing it we could hold someone accountable, even if the the politicians only care at election time and would likely stick the blame on someone else...

Re:ogahdno (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237915)

What the fuck justice department? You sue over the US Airways/American Airlines merger, but they're just gonna fucking greenlight this one? Goddamn lobbyists! Fuck you, Comcast, fuck you!

Re:ogahdno (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238123)

They already have that, you have locked in service for regions, neighborhoods, or complexes. I remember one apartment I could only get service electric cable, which they are terrible to the point that they make pretty much every other provider look like they're the greatest, even though RCN was available in my area though. Its not considered a monopoly either because technically you could get say DSL and Satellite TV, which are competitor services to cable companies. The reason for the localized monopoly is because the company will come in and do the cabling for the city, neighborhood, and complex for which this is how they recover the cost. Usually the terms of the deals are for maybe a decade but once its over people have freedom to pick their provider. In situations like with FIOS, Verizon was paying out of pocket to build the fiber network without having such a deal, which is why it took so long and in some cases it will never come to some. I live now in Alexandria VA and FIOS will never come to it apparently but I'm not going to complain as my Comcast service is pretty good here.

Re:ogahdno (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238333)

Right about now actually.

There's the whole "localized monopoly" thing. But this beast is just about the sole provider for a huge swath of the US now, and people's ability to choose providers is in jeopardy.

For the vast majority of people, no it wont...at least not anymore than it already is. Time Warner and Comcast have almost no overlap in markets. The only places in the US where you have your choice of Time Warner or Comcast are in New York City and Kansas City.

OK, there's one exception to the above. If you use available-cable-providers as a major consideration point when choosing where you want to live, then yes, this may have an impact on your available choices.

Re:ogahdno (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about 9 months ago | (#46238029)

When our choices dwindle to none.

Re:ogahdno (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 9 months ago | (#46237599)

I would not say I LOVE time warner, In fact I think they suck, But they are better than comcast, Im not happy about this at all, 1 less provider makes it easier for the government to collect said data

Re:ogahdno (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238279)

At least Comcast marks most of their channels as Copy Free, so you can capture them with a cablecard under linux. Can't say the same for Time Warner.

Re:ogahdno (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 9 months ago | (#46237575)

Finally, the great customer service of Comcast combines with the competitive pricing of Time Warner to create a single convenient entity to steer public policy with targeted campaign funding. Municipal broadband? Not on Timecast's watch.

Re:ogahdno (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#46237615)

Practice sarcasm much?

Re:ogahdno (1)

naris (830549) | about 9 months ago | (#46237857)

Welcome to my world :(

Re:ogahdno (2)

AJH16 (940784) | about 9 months ago | (#46237987)

All I can say is SHIT!!! Need FiOS available to my area NOW!!!

SEC block? (3, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 9 months ago | (#46237155)

In terms of competition, verizon buying time-warner is a much bigger deal than the blocked attempt of at&t buying t-mobile. This purchase can't possibly be allowed to proceed.

Re:SEC block? (3, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 9 months ago | (#46237163)

Comcast buying time-warner, I mean. Was thinking about cell phone companies and screwed up.

Break it up like AT&T. baby coms (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 9 months ago | (#46237809)

I wonder if the paid for politicians have the brass to break it up. If they can't common carrier status becomes imperative.

Now let's suggest a proper Noun to name the new company, and a verb or noun to describe the service provided. Bonus points: company slogan

example:

ourcast, intranet, thank you for your patience, like you had a choice.

Re:SEC block? (5, Funny)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#46237249)

In terms of competition, [Comcast] buying time-warner is a much bigger deal than the blocked attempt of at&t buying t-mobile. This purchase can't possibly be allowed to proceed.

The difference is that cellular is actually competitive, so a change in the market can reduce that competition and give consumers less choice. But in cable, there is usually only one company in any area. So there is no real competition. How much does does their cable coverage overlap?

I have dealt with both companies (in different cities). On a scale of one to ten, I would give Comcast a one. I would give TWC a zero. So a Comcast takeover could be a win for consumers.

Re:SEC block? (5, Informative)

aerivus (1658465) | about 9 months ago | (#46237333)

Interactive HTML5 Coverage Maps:
Comcast Coverage Map [broadbandmap.gov]
Time Warner Cable Coverage Map [broadbandmap.gov]
Buzzfeed has further analysis of the above maps [buzzfeed.com]

Re:SEC block? (2)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | about 9 months ago | (#46237627)

Wow, neither company has very good coverage on a national scale.
Also, that may be the slowest interactive map I've ever used on the Internet. Our tax dollars at work, creating sub-par web experiences every day.

Re:SEC block? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 9 months ago | (#46237629)

In NY Ive had both in a few towns separated by only a handful of miles apart. Id say that time warner is slightly better than comcast. When it comes to network speeds its better, the on demand/channel guide is 100 times better. I dont use their VOIP so I cant comment on that though.

Re:SEC block? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 9 months ago | (#46237695)

have dealt with both companies (in different cities). On a scale of one to ten, I would give Comcast a one. I would give TWC a zero. So a Comcast takeover could be a win for consumers.

You forget that in a merger or reorg if there is a way to screw someone they will get screwed. Expect any good things that they don't have in common to be cut, as well as the bad things from each to spread. Just like in a corporate reorg when benefits get cut when 2 divisions are merged. Everyone goes to the lowest common denominator instead of things getting better.

Re:SEC block? (1)

JWW (79176) | about 9 months ago | (#46238367)

No, you're not doing your merger math right.

0 + 1 = -1

Re:SEC block? (1)

AJH16 (940784) | about 9 months ago | (#46238067)

I would have to say I'm firmly the opposite of this. My experience with TimeWarner for Internet access has been phenomenal. Decent speeds, no stupid caps and reasonable enough value. My friends with Comcast on the other hand are faced with bandwidth caps, stupidly overpriced prices and horrible support. As a very satisfied user of TimeWarner's Ultimate internet service, I'm quite honestly terrified of the implications of this take over. I would give TimeWarner cable a 7 or 8 when it comes to Internet access in my area, but I'd give Comcast a -3 based on what I've heard from numerous friends.

(Now when it comes to TV and Phone service, they don't hold up as well, but I don't use them for either of those.)

Re:SEC block? (1)

khelms (772692) | about 9 months ago | (#46238201)

Yes, but you now have the option to stream your TV programming! ... uh, through your cable modem.

Re:SEC block? (1)

dptalia (804960) | about 9 months ago | (#46237521)

I agree. This has antitrust issues written all over it. I predict the Justice department and the FTC will oppose the merger.

Re:SEC block? (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 9 months ago | (#46237545)

Comcast was allowed to 'close the loop' by purchasing NBC (content provider + cable company/ISP)... I fail to see why our regulatory bodies would even pretend to do their jobs and block something like this.

Re:SEC block? (1)

dptalia (804960) | about 9 months ago | (#46237759)

Justice may find an excuse not to prosecute (although antitrust prosecutions tend to go up under Democratic presidents). I don't see the FTC not getting involved.

Re:SEC block? (2)

CimmerianX (2478270) | about 9 months ago | (#46237869)

Probably not since There will be no reduction in competition... Comcast and TW do not compete in very many areas.... thus the consolidation will (for the most part) neither increase or decrease competition. What it will do is give comcast for leverage when making deals with the content providers.

Re:SEC block? (1)

dptalia (804960) | about 9 months ago | (#46237907)

There's more to antitrust law then where they compete. Market share is a big deal too. Justice usually jumps in around 30%.

Re:SEC block? (1)

emaname (1014225) | about 9 months ago | (#46238171)

Exactly. It strikes me that market share equates to financial leverage. And the more they have, the more they'll want. They'll have a great deal more influence in the marketplace. And we'll still be a third-world country when it comes to internet service.

Re:SEC block? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238215)

As part of the proposal though, Comcast claims they will shed about 3 million customers to stay below the 30% market share boundary. They seem to understand how to game this system as well.

Re:SEC block? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237969)

Doubtful. Holder's justice department is fucking useless for actually looking out for public interests. And Comcast probably lobbies the fuck out of Washington.

Re:SEC block? (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 9 months ago | (#46237657)

That's what I thought, until I remembered that nobody with TWC can switch to Comcast or vice-versa, at least without moving. There should be huge anti-competitive concerns - but there's no competition anyway so I guess it doesn't matter?

Re:SEC block? (1)

AJH16 (940784) | about 9 months ago | (#46238031)

Ironically, Verizon buying Time-Warner would be a good thing because FiOS and Time Warner combined would actually have a small prayer of giving Comcast a badly needed run for their money, instead I get to watch Internet options in my neighborhood vanish.

Antitrust lawsuit? (4, Interesting)

randomErr (172078) | about 9 months ago | (#46237157)

That two biggies merging. Will they be put under the scrutiny of an antitrust investigation? That will definitely eliminate choice in several areas. What the alternative, dial up or over the air broadcast?

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (4, Informative)

jonnythan (79727) | about 9 months ago | (#46237169)

I don't think there area any areas where both TW and Comcast operate. So it won't change the number of choices for anyone.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 9 months ago | (#46237221)

I don't think there area any areas where both TW and Comcast operate. So it won't change the number of choices for anyone.

This is true.

You will just replace one shitty company with an even shittier company.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 9 months ago | (#46237243)

As horrendous as Comcast is, they've got nothing on Time Warner.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46237553)

As horrendous as Comcast is, they've got nothing on Time Warner.

Ah, but suck is additive ... which means you'll probably end up with an entity which sucks more than either could possibly be on their own.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#46237631)

You know I actually think it's a toss up as to which is shittiest. I wonder if they will be shittier than the sum of their parts?

Ah, yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237803)

Shytergy.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#46237227)

Washington Post's article confirms that:

"Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t have overlapping markets, so antitrust regulators won’t view the merger with the same concerns they did with AT&T’s proposed bid with T-Mobile, experts say. That deal, which regulators rejected, would have eliminated a major national carrier and given consumers across the country fewer options."

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (5, Interesting)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 9 months ago | (#46237301)

If these two cable providers don't have overlapping markets, it seems to me they were like a cartel to begin with, dividing the territory between them and entering a do-not-compete agreement, which should have already prompted an anti-trust case.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237329)

That is pretty much what they have been doing and so yes they should have been handled but the government completely failed there (by choice or incompetence, take your pick).

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

arekin (2605525) | about 9 months ago | (#46237435)

Its not the companies that restrict area. An area cable franchise authority grants franchise rights in an area which limits a number of providers to a single area. This is probably a good idea as allowing every provider access to easement or run lines on poles would be a mess. You would also have to worry about planes dropping out of the sky or birth defects at some point due to the line egress.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 9 months ago | (#46237585)

Actually this was done between 1996 and 2001 for telecom, as a result we saw huge boom in internet service providers, $/bandwidth, and overall service. Dubya killed that for us, how helpful. Since it was repealed, things have gone to pot, at least with twisted pair. It's a little harder for cable companies in terms of video service, but thanks to the internet that too is changing.

What is truly the blocking issue here is that these people scream bloody murder if they're forced to compete.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237671)

This is why these local authorities should not be able to grant franchise rights as it limits competition. The infrastructure needs to be paid directly with taxpayer funds, not indirectly through massive financial incentives like this [newnetworks.com] , then the providers can compete over which services to provide over infrastructure owned by the taxpayers. I've been fortunate to never have to deal with Time Warner, although I have had to deal with Comcast, and they are both steaming piles of shit that would never exist in their current form in a truly competitive marketplace.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46237791)

It might have, but the cable companies have likely spent a lot of money on lobbyists to convince officials that there's nothing to look into.

Lobbyists: The corporate version of the Jedi Mind Trick. "This isn't the cartel you are looking for. We can go about our business. We can move along."

Re: Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

ozydingo (922211) | about 9 months ago | (#46237395)

But it will make it even harder to compete against an even more behemother company that can leverage now even more assets and power to crush little uprisings of entrepreneurial rebellion. Though I'm not sure there is any chance to begin with even without the merge.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237425)

the problem is on the NBCU content side and the additional control over pricing and eyeballs it gives them control over.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

Rich_Lather (925834) | about 9 months ago | (#46237517)

More people get to be Comcastrated.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

dptalia (804960) | about 9 months ago | (#46237529)

It's more than just area coverage. Antitrust law also looks at market share. If a merger will give you more than 30% of the nationwide market or so then Justice usually gets involved. If you get more than about 25% of a regional market states may get involved too.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (4, Insightful)

coastal984 (847795) | about 9 months ago | (#46237595)

No, it won't eliminate consumer choice because most often Cable companies have a government-authorized monopoly on a geographic area.

What this will do is create a powerhouse negotiator with the content companies as they would represent about 1/3 of all cable households. Who really hates this deal is those content companies, and the satellite companies. If allowed, Comcast will have the power to negotiate substantially lower TV subscription costs than Direct/Dish, and take money out of the content producer/broadcasters coffers.

The other side is internet... but I'm not sure that this is going to affect their DSL/FIOS competitors that much. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I think this is likely a secondary concern that lags behind the concerns of the networks/sat providers.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

jebrick (164096) | about 9 months ago | (#46237919)

The question should be asked why don't cable companies compete in the same markets? Why do the consumers have no choice now?

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 9 months ago | (#46238319)

Too big to fail comes to mind. No way Comcast should be allowed to expand. Comcast is already short of good content considering the high prices they charge.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238363)

There are 2. New York City and Kansas City

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101413235

Time Warner Cable owns cable systems in key areas, including New York City, Southern California, and Texas. Of the top 50 market areas in the country, Time Warner Cable and Comcast overlap in only two — New York City and Kansas City.

Re-reading that, there are 2 overlaps in the top 50 markets. There may be more overlap in smaller markets.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237185)

ip over pigeons

Meridith Atwell Baker was Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (5, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 9 months ago | (#46237229)

Comcast will just bribe the FCC again [nytimes.com]

America was fun while it lasts, but if people can keep being bribed to do favors, corruption can inevitably kill a country. We have laws that you can't buy a vote. That seems noble. But the fact is that politicians can accept campaign contributions which is just a fancy word for a bribe. Who needs to buy votes when you can buy a politician?

Again, I love America, but corruption unchecked can destroy any nation no matter how strong. And with campaign contributions running rampant, the game is rigged in favor of the corrupt.

Re:Meridith Atwell Baker was Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237663)

If you think America was ever and different than today, you might want to read up on Standard Oil. It took years of abusive practices before it got broken up. Same with AT&T.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 9 months ago | (#46237463)

Not mentioned in the summary but in the article is that the merged company will get rid of 3 million customers willingly. In articles not linked but other ones [forbes.com] , the reason is that the merged company wants to keep their share of the market to less than 30%. As others will mention, there are few areas where they overlap. I remember there was a re-alignment a few years back when Comcast replaced Time Warner in some markets and vice versa but they did not compete against each other.

Re:Antitrust lawsuit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238211)

but.. but.. but... Comcast is offering to divest itself of 3 million (of its lowest profitable, you can bet on that) customers!! Surely that will be enough for the corporate-owned government entities, entrusted by the public to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace, to see that this mega-merger is a win-win for the public.

[sarcasm:off]

NO MORE MEGAMERGERS. THIS IS BAD NEWS, FOLKS. Comcast is already the largest cable company and probably the largest consumer ISP as well along with having a fair marketshare of wireline telephone service in their service areas.. but they also happen to own tv studios, movie studios, television programs, movies and film libraries, cable networks, sports networks, sports teams, sports stadiums, an sports/entertainment ticket outlet, web streaming sites, broadcast stations and broadcast networks.

This allows Comcast to own the television or movie studio that produces programming, own the programming itself, own the broadcast network (and some stations) it airs on, owns the cable network it airs on, own the cable system the networks and stations are distributed on, and own the internet site that streams the programming.. and here I thought such vertical expansion of a company was illegal.. Fuck you Comcast, and fuck you federal agencies who let them get this big. this proposed acquisition is WRONG WRONG WRONG... which is entirely why the feds will allow it to happen with nothing more than short term pocket lint (if anything) as a concession.

If Comcast, the cable company, wants to buy TWC they should a) give up not 3 million but enough customers to keep their service area overall to less than a fourth of the u.s. lower 48 population regardless of whether they are customers (and less than 2/3rds of that located in the largest 40 metropolitan areas); and b) divest itself of the following categories of assets: broadcast network, cable networks, sports networks, television/movie production/studios.. that's right break up, voluntarily, into at least five separate and independent companies.

This is good for competition (0)

QQBoss (2527196) | about 9 months ago | (#46237165)

In some places, people will be able to choose from Time Warner/Comcast and in others they will be able to choose from Comcast/Time Warner.

Oh, wait, this is the same situation that exists now where DSL or FTTC isn't meaningfully available.

They both suck almost as much as Beta, which I accidentally viewed today. Oh, the pain....

Remember kids (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 months ago | (#46237171)

We need to cap your internet usage and charge you usage fees as well as bandwidth fees because, oh god, it's so hard to make money in the telecommunication business we just can't seem to stop having enough money to buy each other out. By the way, we're going to increase your monthly flat rate bill a good 10% again this year because hey, those "Friends" reruns sure are getting expensive to er, broadcast.

increase of rates (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#46237291)

Well, they have to pay for the purchase somehow, and you cant expect them to take it out of current profits/bank accounts.

Get bandwidth back this way then (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237347)

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---

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http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Details of hosts' benefits enumerated in link)

Summary:

---

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---

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APK

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Economies of Scale (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237187)

Wow! With their improved economies of scale, my rates should drop, and I should get better service than ever!

Antitrust petition (2)

MCSEBear (907831) | about 9 months ago | (#46237195)

Is there already a Whitehouse.gov petition asking Obama to oppose this? Since the cable companies seem to think they will get away with it, we need to act fast to shame Obama into stopping this.

Re:Antitrust petition (4, Interesting)

arekin (2605525) | about 9 months ago | (#46237261)

This isn't antitrust. Most areas restrict cable franchising so you don't have multiple providers in an area. If Comcast were to buy WOW in areas they both exist (Such as Michigan, maybe available elsewhere) it would restrict competition. Since Comcast and Time Warner don't overlap there is not antitrust issue.

Bad Service x Fewer Choices (3, Informative)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 9 months ago | (#46237197)

Equals a ISP landscape that will even more consumer unfriendly.

Re:Bad Service x Fewer Choices (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#46237247)

There's no overlap between TWC and Comcast, so the number of choices won't change for anyone. I have TWC and I'm worried that Comcast will change their policies. TWC's price is a little high, and their technicians have broken my stuff more often than fixed it, but it's gotten significantly more reliable in the last couple years and as long as my loop isn't saturated, they give me about 32Mbps when I pay for 10Mbps.

Re:Bad Service x Fewer Choices (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 9 months ago | (#46237709)

My parents have Comcast, I have TWC. Performance, reliability, and tech are all about the same - Comcast on demand and cable boxes are much better, but TWC's been working on that. I actually have had better luck with Comcast customer service than Time Warner, but that might just be a fluke.

I don't expect anything to get worse, but it probably won't get any better either - certainly not the price.

Re:Bad Service x Fewer Choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237729)

There's no overlap between TWC and Comcast, so the number of choices won't change for anyone.

And when they merge, I won't even be able to move away to get a different ISP.

Re:Bad Service x Fewer Choices (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 9 months ago | (#46237279)

Equals a ISP landscape that will even more consumer unfriendly.

This merger doesn't reduce anyone's choice because there are very few (if any) areas where you currently have the option to choose one or the other. In the vast majority of areas you have exactly one choice for cable TV. If you are lucky, you might have 2 choices for Internet -- shitty expensive cable and shitty expensive DSL.

Force the monopoly cable and telephone companies to open up their networks. Then you will have real competition which will result in real consumer choice. It will also mean the end of stupid shit like monthly bandwidth caps.

Re:Bad Service x Fewer Choices (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46237885)

*raises hand*

That's my options in a nutshell. For TV, I have Time Warner Cable or I can go with satellite (and be locked into a contract). Then again, we've been on the cusp of cutting the cord for years so this might be the move that pushes us over the edge.

For Internet, however, we have Time Warner Cable. There's also Verizon DSL, but they have shown time and time again that they want to ditch it ASAP. Dial-up or no Internet isn't an option. Neither is relying solely on my cell phone for data (too expensive). So I'm essentially locked into one choice for Internet service. If they decide to charge me $100 a month for a 1Gbps connection and a 10GB cap, I have no choice but to pay. (So long as they are less expensive than cellular data plans which isn't hard to do.)

I'd love to see their networks forced open. One company should run the network and sell access to companies who then offer service to customers. This would increase competition, decrease prices, decrease network neutrality concerns (because the network company wouldn't be "competing" against NetFlix, etc), and improve service. Sadly, cable ISPs don't want this and will fight tooth and nail (and lobbyist) to prevent this from happening.

no coverage of w. va. or n. carolina etc....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237201)

not the best news;; https://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A2KLtYEpxfxSClQA93CbvZx4?p=w.+va+n.+carolina+spills&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-901

other stuff overlooked in spiritless media http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=starvation+genocide&sm=3

Thank god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237233)

As a consumer I'm thrilled by this. Less choice means I don't have to think as much!

Win for IPv6 (1)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about 9 months ago | (#46237239)

Comcast have been rolling out IPv6, and I can now get all of Google/YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia. Slashdot is still only IPv4, of course.

TWC's installed equipment may delay a roll out right now, but a long term commitment to IPv6 would be good.

Re:Win for IPv6 (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#46237271)

Don't worry, Slashdot is planning on implementing a beta version of IPv6. All of your packets will be routed directly to the NSA, then China, then the Antares nebula, and then beamed into space. Because fuck user experience.

Re:Win for IPv6 (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 9 months ago | (#46237491)

TWC does v6 as well. I'm using it right now

Re:Win for IPv6 (1)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about 9 months ago | (#46238073)

Oops! I should have used my IPv6 connection to do a search before posting! - http://www.timewarnercable.com... [timewarnercable.com]

More places for Netflix to suck (1)

JohnnyDoesLinux (19195) | about 9 months ago | (#46237253)

I guess it is time to switch to the Netflix DVD option, or join Redbox.

FTC Where are youuuuuuu? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 months ago | (#46237275)

This should not even be on the table. A nearly unrelated virtual monopoly, growing even larger.

The US is screwed... (2)

sumdumfuk (1155931) | about 9 months ago | (#46237281)

As if Comcast being second most hated company (EA was first) wasn't bad enough, now the giant will have almost a monopoly on cable (if it is approved). Things will NOT get better with this merger, only worse since they will have almost no competition.

Re:The US is screwed... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 9 months ago | (#46238329)

They'll be able to bully Netflix and Google/YouTube right out of business.

Wait ... AOL? (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46237325)

Surely Time Warner understands by now that getting bought in an all stock deal is a stupid friggin' idea.

Because when AOL bought them with over-inflated .com stocks, it was a terrible idea and ended up with a grossly over-valued company with few actual assets owning a company which had both revenues and assets.

I predict that in the long run this will be a terrible idea for both consumers and stockholders.

Could be a good thing. (1)

arekin (2605525) | about 9 months ago | (#46237351)

One of the main factors that cause cable television bills to increase is Channel Providers raising costs on cable companies. ESPN has been notorious for raising rates over the years. If the cable company gets bigger it has better negotiating power to maintain current rates (what broadcaster is going to loose 3 million subscribers by pissing off the cable company in negotiations). I doubt that the current rates will decrease, but it could stabilize costs some. This is not to mention that Time Warner actually has worse consumer reviews than Comcast. Time Warner customers would likely see an improvement.

Re:Could be a good thing. (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#46237433)

One of the main factors that cause cable television bills to increase is Channel Providers raising costs on cable companies.

And, of course, there's no chance in hell that this new entity will just decide to increase rates and win on both ends.

I'm sure they'll be nothing but paragons of looking out for the consumer.

Or, they'll gouge you on both ends and chalk it up to corporate profits.

Re:Could be a good thing. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46238107)

At most, they'll drop rates by some token amount while the FCC is looking (perhaps making it up with a "Merger Service Fee" hidden in the bills). Then they'll have a rate hike (blaming some channel they have a tiff with) and will make up more than the token price drop.

Re:Could be a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237469)

It's still wining the special Olympics if you ask me, yeah you may have the gold medal but your still retarded. Time Warner is pretty crappy, but all I've ever heard was horror stories out of Comcast. Comcast had a 20% ownership of the local cable company (Insight communications) but Time Warner bought the whole company 3 years ago (and is still working through re-branding everything). My service didn't change at all (still have random disconnects for hours at a time), my rates didn't change at all, oh and they wanted to offer me a "deal" to add services and pay almost double what new customers were paying for the same thing.

TWC is crap, Comcast is not much better, I miss Insight, Google Fiber can't spread fast enough

Infrastructure investment? (1)

Yonkeltron (720465) | about 9 months ago | (#46237719)

I wonder if Comcast plans to upgrade infrastructure in TWC service areas. Friends of mine in pre-war NYC apartment buildings seem to have terrible service degradation in the evenings as more people get online.

Re:Infrastructure investment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237847)

I wonder if Comcast plans to upgrade infrastructure in TWC service areas. Friends of mine in pre-war NYC apartment buildings seem to have terrible service degradation in the evenings as more people get online.

HAHAHAHAHA! Good one...

This sucks... (1)

Hangtime (19526) | about 9 months ago | (#46237833)

If this does go through and I have my doubts, I want the FCC NOT to force them into divestiture but offer higher speed Internet, ala carte pricing, sign off on Net Neutrality, and remove all bandwidth throttling and caps. The time is not to try and create competition, because there is none in cable, but to actually make a company perform like it is in a competitive environment.

Re:This sucks... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238141)

If this does go through and I have my doubts, I want the FCC NOT to force them into divestiture but offer higher speed Internet, ala carte pricing, sign off on Net Neutrality, and remove all bandwidth throttling and caps. The time is not to try and create competition, because there is none in cable, but to actually make a company perform like it is in a competitive environment.

Won't work. They'll agree for a time period to do something, and then after that time period, boom - they make up for it. Or worse, look at Sirius-XM. They agreed not to raise rates for a couple of years, then immediately implemented a new "fee", but the "rate" never changed.

Great! (2)

sudon't (580652) | about 9 months ago | (#46237905)

Great! Now, instead of having one choice for high-speed (haha) internet, I'll only have one choice for high-speed (haha) internet.

Here comes IOI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46237949)

How long until these merged companies rename themselves to Innovative Online Industries?

Oh HELL no! (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#46238003)

I have TWC and have heard nothing positive about Comcast. When TWC bought AOL, it was the worst corporate merger ever in US history. Now they're selling out to the king of all assholes, Comcast? I can't wait for my prices to go up and my netflix to get throttled.

Mother of God (1)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about 9 months ago | (#46238119)

I hope Bright House is unaffected by this (as I understand it, they're a separate company from TWC at this point in my area, I think).

Perverse incentives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46238167)

They make more money just buying customers from someone else than simply building out to more customers.

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