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I will be the first to admit that I hate Time Warner however I do not see this making things any better. I could go into a long rant about net neutrality, lack of competition and other issues that come with monopolies, netflix throttling and legislatures outlawing 'socialist guvment internets' but instead I will just post the story and allow the comment section to do the talking for me:

Comcast To Buy Time Warner For 54 Billion Dollars

Comcast Corp. has reached an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at $45.2 billion, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

The proposed blockbuster combination is expected to be announced Thursday and would create a video and Internet juggernaut with 30 million subscribers and operations in some of the country's biggest markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

...

Under the terms of the transaction, Comcast would pay $158.82 a share for Time Warner Cable, a nearly 18% premium over the company's latest stock price. Time Warner Cable shares closed Wednesday at $135.31. Comcast has offered 2.875 shares of its stock for each share of Time Warner Cable in the all-stock transaction.

Comcast's and Time Warner Cable's boards separately have approved the deal, according to people close to the matter. Time Warner Chief Executive Rob Marcus, who has been in his current position for only 44 days, will resign after the sale closes.

If there is actually the tiniest bit of pretense of regulation in this country this deal would not go through. It is absolutely insane to allow one organization such control over the countries internet backbone.

This article lays out some of the issues:

"Comcast and Time Warner Cable compete in very few markets. As a result, few consumers will see their choices of cable operators reduced."

In other words, your choice for cable TV, wherever you live in America, would be a very aggressive Comcast or smaller, maybe local, providers with comparatively tiny marketing budgets and little muscle.

"Let's get to the bottom line," says Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times. "There's no way this combination can conceivably be in the public interest." The only real question on the table is "whether the FCC will fold against the economic and political power of these two behemoths."

Well, economic and political power, meet "optics." The proposed merger may not give Comcast a full stranglehold on cable TV access, but it looks like it will. Everybody who has even considered getting cable TV or broadband internet knows that Comcast and Time Warner are the two giants in the room. That's a lot of Americans. Will they care if the giants get hitched? Craig Aaron, president of the consumer advocacy group Free Press, makes a compelling argument they will:

No one woke up this morning wishing their cable company was bigger or had more control over what they could watch or download. But that — along with higher bills — is the reality they'll face tomorrow unless the Department of Justice and the FCC do their jobs and block this merger. Stopping this kind of deal is exactly why we have antitrust laws. Americans already hate dealing with the cable guy — and both these giant companies regularly rank among the worst of the worst in consumer surveys. But this deal would be the cable guy on steroids — pumped up, unstoppable and grasping for your wallet.
Craig Aaron should win some sort of prize for summing it up so nicely. Then there is the whole issue of bandwidth caps, etc:
Allowing one company the keys to one of the most important (and most lucrative) utilities that come into our homes — the internet — could also raise prices and restrict the amount of the web you consume (read: Netflix). Comcast caps the amount of data customers can use each month, for example, while TWC does not.
Contact FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and let him know you do not think this merger should happen.

9:17 AM PT: http://www.theguardian.com/...

Whose interest is served by such a deal? The shareholders of TWC and Comcast would be thrilled, for sure. So would the NSA and other surveillance statists, who would undoubtedly be happiest if we reverted to the era when a single behemoth telecommunications enterprise served, for all practical purposes, as an arm of the spy services.

9:21 AM PT: https://www.opensecrets.org/...

CONTRIBUTIONS

Comcast:

$1,992,300

ranks 16 of 12,539 LOBBYING

$18,810,000 (2013)

ranks 7 of 2,873 in 2013

Democratic Governors Assn $200,000 $0 $200,000

 National Republican Congressional Cmte $65,800 $50,800 $15,000

 DNC Services Corp $65,300 $65,300 $0

 Boehner, John $59,200 $54,200 $5,000

 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Cmte $50,900 $35,900 $15,000

 McConnell, Mitch $32,800 $26,300 $6,500

 Markey, Ed $28,750 $18,750 $10,000

 Natl Conference of Democratic Mayors $27,500 $0 $27,500

 Walden, Greg $26,750 $19,250 $7,500

 Republican National Cmte $24,900 $24,900 $0

Top Candidate Recipients, 2013-2014John Boehner (R-OH)  $59,200

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)  $32,800

Ed Markey (D-MA)  $28,750

Greg Walden (R-OR)  $26,750

Harry Reid (D-NV)  $22,000

VIEW ALL CANDIDATE RECIPIENTS

The total of contributions to candidates from Comcast Corp PACs is 2 times larger than contributions from individuals

Contributions from Individuals

$343,535

Contributions from PACs

$840,500

LOBBYING: $18,810,000 (2013)

REVOLVING DOOR

86 out of 107 Comcast Corp lobbyists in 2013 have previously held government jobs See their employment history by clicking on their RevDoor icon hereTOP ISSUES LOBBIED, 2013

Telecommunications

Radio & TV Broadcasting

Taxes

Copyright, Patent & Trademark

Fed Budget & Appropriations

BILL MOST FREQUENTLY LOBBIED ON IN THE 113th CONGRESS: H.R.1947 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)

See more lobbying by Comcast Corp

Members who own Comcast Corp shares: 25

Barber, Ron (D-AZ)

Boehner, John (R-OH)

Cohen, Steve (D-TN)

Collins, Susan M (R-ME)

Cooper, Jim (D-TN)

Dingell, John D (D-MI)

Frankel, Lois J (D-FL)

Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ)

Hagan, Kay R (D-NC)

Hanna, Richard (R-NY)

Heck, Dennis (D-WA)

Holding, George (R-NC)

Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)

Kelly, Mike (R-PA)

Marchant, Kenny (R-TX)

McCaul, Michael (R-TX)

McDermott, Jim (D-WA)

Pelosi, Nancy (D-CA)

Renacci, Jim (R-OH)

Rogers, Hal (R-KY)

Schneider, Brad (D-IL)

Sensenbrenner, F James Jr (R-WI)

Upton, Fred (R-MI)

Vitter, David (R-LA)

Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI)

 

86 out of 107 Comcast Corp lobbyists in 2013 have previously held government jobs

12:27 PM PT: Al Franken To The Rescue:

Minnesota's senators were quick to demand scrutiny of the proposed $45.2 all-stock deal that would merge Comcast and Time Warner Cable, turning the nation's two largest cable operators into one powerful force.

"I have serious reservations about this proposed transaction, which would consolidate the largest and second largest cable providers in America," Sen. Al Franken wrote in a letter to the FCC, FTC and Justice Department. "I urge you to act quickly and decisively to ensure that consumers are not exposed to increased cable prices and decreased quality of service as a result of this transaction."

Originally posted to LieparDestin on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 02:45 AM PST.

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