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View Diary: Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable... What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Updated x2 (158 comments)

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  •  Very few people have the choice of (12+ / 0-)

    Cable company, and if they do, it's a company like RCN.  There's also Verizon and satellite. Twc and Cmcast don't compete in horizontal markets, though, which is why this might slip thru: it not clear prices will be higher post merger as they are now, as a consequence of the merger.  That's of course not the whole issue, but price effects are the first place merger regulators work.  (And network industries tend towards concentration because of economies of scale - it's partly why single payer is good and why most states have a dominant insurer anyway.)  A lot of the other concerns cited above may strike the antitrust regulators as too speculative to base a preliminary injunction motion, but they are bargaining points.  Nevertheless, we have seen the Obama admin more aggressive in merger review than I can ever recall. (They only have indirect influence over FCC, though.)

    There is opportunity here if the FCC wants it  - the merger will probably be approved because not direct competitors for most consumers but with some sort of consent decree to protect, um, Hollywood from a larger MSO's bargaining power.  It's an opportunity nevertheless for the FCC to impose net neutrality without the DC Circuit's interference.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 05:42:07 AM PST

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    •  The devil in this deal isn't the residential TV (13+ / 0-)

      segment.  It is the Internet backhaul network and the ISP level provider services.  This will be impacted and in a negative way.  As the diary mentions, things like throttling of Netflix will be commonplace.  Comcast also tends to aggressively and blatantly filter the ports that are available to their Internet customers, as well as engage in things like Sandvine(ing)

      I used to spend a lot of time in my travel trailer in a campground that offered Comcast for Internet access.  It wasn't uncommon to see the first megabyte or two transfer rapidly and then find your connection throttled to about 25Kbit/sec.  Pause and restart the connection after about 10 to 15 minutes and watch it increase for a little bit and then slow way down.

      I would do without Internet access before I went with Comcast.

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:25:03 AM PST

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      •  I wouldn't think they would (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        compete on last mile, since that has such overlap to tv, but i don't know about the rest of the network.  It's easier for antitrust regulators to see a lack of direct price competition, harder to see how the merger might make issues like internet service better or worse without such direct overlap.  It gets very theoretical, because it's a bank shot.  (merge, squeeze suppliers over here, raise prices over there - maybe.)  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:34:15 AM PST

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    •  I'm forced to use RCN as my internet provider. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LieparDestin, Puddytat, Lujane

      My building has a contract with them.  This contract practice must end.  Tenants should not be foreced to use the owner's preferred service just because he's getting a cut.  Because of this I gave up phone and tv service, and If I could give up internet I would.  I now have apple tv and magic jack for phone service and I'm somewhat happy.  Internet service is still high.  

      Comcast will place MSNBC above the basic service forcing peole who watch this news channel to pay more.  Meanwhile Fox Ent. news is included in the basic to purposely feed a segment of the public with BS misinformation.  

      •  i don't know about that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, Lujane

        can you require a landlord to stick a direct tv dish on the roof as a condition of renting out a garden apt?  I can see the argument that it should at least be required to offer the dominant terrestrial provider in the area.  what do the other tenants say?

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 01:02:34 PM PST

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        •  Tenents are mad and usually don't realize (0+ / 0-)

          this until after they move in.  No satellite dishes allowed.  I wished management would allow a direct tv dish on the roof for all tenents but this one provider contract practice prevents them from doing so.  Mgmt doesn't care since they don't live here.

    •  Heh... (0+ / 0-)
      ...it not clear prices will be higher post merger as they are now, as a consequence of the merger.
      Really? I thought it was a given that prices for services always rise.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 09:55:24 PM PST

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