Just in time for Valentines Day, new industry sweethearts, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, announced a merger to "create a world-class technology and media company." What does this mean for content creators, net neutrality, Apple TV, and those of you waiting for the internet repairman to show up at your house? Read about the controversial merger and weigh in with your thoughts below.
After over six months of offers from other potential mates like Charter Communications, yesterday Comcast proposed and Time Warner Cable accepted to the tune of $45.2 billion dollars in stock. Reactions to this mega-merger have been mixed to say the least (though Gizmodo shared some tweets that shed some light on people's sentiments). Both companies are known for their exceptionally low customer service scores. Now that they've merged, is it possible that their new incarnation will lead the way to better business practices? Here is Comcast's take on the benefits of the merger per their press release:
Through this merger, more American consumers will benefit from technological innovations, including a superior video experience, higher broadband speeds, and the fastest in-home Wi-Fi...American businesses will benefit from a broader platform, and the Company will be better able to offer advanced services like high-performance point-to-point and multi-point Ethernet services and cloud-based managed services to enterprises.
No big surprise, but not everyone is convinced the merger will lead to good things. Quite a few public watch groups have pointed to the dangers of such a huge merger. For example, here is a statement released by Public Knowledge Attorney, John Bergmayer:
An enlarged Comcast would be the bully in the schoolyard, able to dictate terms to content creators, Internet companies, other communications networks that must interconnect with it, and distributors who must access its content.
After the merger, Comcast will now control one-third of high-speed Internet market. For those who were recently disappointed when the FCC's net neutrality rules were dismissed by the D.C. Circuit, this might be a chance to make another push to get them back. There is speculation that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who might have a good case for blocking the legality of the merger, might instead bargain for rules on net neutrality to be accepted by Comcast-TW Cable.
Know who else is probably a little upset about the merger? Apple. A few hours before the announcement of the merger, Apple announced it would be releasing its new Apple TV box in less than two months. Apple was almost done negotiating its first ever deal with a cable provider for content on Apple TV. Who was that cable provider? Time Warner Cable.
Fellow content creators, what are your thoughts about the Comcast-TWC merger?
- Comcast-TW Cable Merger Changes the Dynamic for FCCs Net Neutrality Wrangle -- Variety
- Comcast, Time Warner Merger Could Be Bad News for Apple TV -- Mashable
- Public Knowledge Statement on Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merge -- Public Knowledge
- Time Warner Cable to Merge with Comcast Corporation -- Comcast Corporate