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Recently, Senator Al Franken (D. MN) spoke out about the potential merger between cable providers Comcast and Time Warner:

"There's not enough competition, we need more competition, not less. This is going exactly in the wrong direction," Franken said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"Consumers are – I am very concerned – are going to pay higher bills, they are going to get even worse service and less choice," said Franken.

More and more Americans get their entertainment from the internet. Comcast currently has 20% of the Internet service market, the merger will give it 30%.

Franken says he was already against Comcast acquiring NBC Universal, and says the broadcasting of the Olympics illustrates why it was a bad deal for cable subscribers.

"If you're a cable provider, you better have (the Olympics). So if you're not Comcast, you've got to pay ... Comcast NBC for the rights to the Olympics. And Comcast can charge whatever they want. They have to pay themselves the same thing by law, but they're taking out of their right pocket and putting it in their left pocket," says Franken.

"That's anti-competitiveness, as far as I'm concerned," said the senator. - CNN, 2/13/14

Today i received an e-mail from Franken who wants to hear from all of you about this potential merger so he can continue to fight back against this:
If you feel like you pay too much for cable. . . like you’re not getting your money’s worth… like your Internet connection is slower than what you’re supposedly paying for there isn’t enough competition to ensure that you get a fair deal -- well, you’re certainly not alone.

And things could be about to get a whole lot worse: Comcast (the nation’s biggest cable company) is planning to acquire Time-Warner (the nation’s second-biggest cable company).

This certainly seems like bad news for consumers already being squeezed, and I’m leading the charge to make sure this deal doesn’t just slide past regulators. But right now, I want to hear from you.

Could you take a few minutes to take a quick survey about your experience with the big cable companies and your thoughts on this proposed deal?

As you might remember, I worked in the media industry before I was a Senator. And I saw the damaging effects of media consolidation first-hand. That’s why I fought against Comcast’s merger with NBC, and why I’m so concerned about this proposed acquisition, as well.

This isn’t just some wonky intellectual debate. This deal could translate directly into higher prices and worse service for you. And in order to keep the focus where it belongs -- on the interests of consumers -- I’m going to need your voices in this fight.

That’s why I’m asking you to complete a short survey describing your experience with the big cable companies, and inviting you to share your thoughts and concerns about this deal.

Please click here to take the survey.

Thanks for taking the survey -- and stay tuned for more on this developing issue.


P.S.: I only need a minute of your time. Click here to fill out a short survey and help me protect consumers from skyrocketing cable rates!

Click here to take Franken's survey:

Originally posted to pdc on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So? (0+ / 0-)

    Is he sticking up for the consumers on this? Or for Hollywood?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 11:30:06 AM PST

  •  Is he going to have company on this issue? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Lily O Lady

    I assume that the usual suspects like Sanders, Warren, and Brown will join him--hopefully Harkin, too.  Is, however, it going to merely be "the professional left" once again?  Will the Very Serious People pipe up about the obvious anti-competitive impacts of this proposed merger?

    The WH could quash this merger in a moment if it had the political will to do so.  I suspect, however, that it will take some serious Dem pressure from the Hill, too.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 11:34:00 AM PST

  •  Where are "free market" lovers when these type (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady

    ...of anticompetitive mergers are proposed?

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 12:02:52 PM PST

  •  Franken is correct (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sherri in TX, Lily O Lady

    Merger and consolidation is the wrong direction.  We need to see more customer centered solutions and less corporate centered solutions, and we must maintain net neutrality.

    Comcast raised my bill way too much in one fell swoop, providing me with programming that I don't want.  So, I witched to DirecTV and though I am saving money, getting higher resolution as well as some other benefits, the programming problem is the same - I am actually burdened by too much programming that I don't want.

    Cable providers are doing what suits THEM.  With more competition cable providers would be more interested in what the customer wants.  The best idea I've heard of late is ala cart plans where customers can pick programming and only pay of the programming they use - then we would see a market shake out and the programs customers really value.

    Additionally, as Comcast and others get bigger and more influential with lawmakers they are sure to spend their money to destroy net neutrality.   Net neutrality and the information available via the we is our best bet at righting the wrongs of the super-rich who are threatening our democracy by purchasing political influence.

  •  The merger is CHECK-MATE for the 1% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady

    on what is left of the Monopoly Board.  

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 12:14:11 PM PST

  •  I don't think this would have much effect on (0+ / 0-)

    cable bills.  Not a whole lot of people have a choice between the two (Though it's certainly a step in the wrong direction).

    What concerns me more is having one company have that much control over what sites people can visit, particularly with the recent anti-net-neutrality ruling.

  •  Kos's main bloggers should be on this (0+ / 0-)

    Left bloggers should be causing a ruckus over this. It seems like it's slipping under the radar.

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