Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable — it’s Comcastic!

In our advocacy, we strive to find an “on the other hand” on almost any issue, and then point out why we believe it’s flawed, and why our point of view should prevail. But in the case of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV and Internet Service Provider, buying Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second largest — there is no “on the other hand.” There simply is no credible argument that this transaction is, as Comcast’s CEO Brian Roberts claims, “pro-competitive” and “pro-consumer.” Comcast’s size today already gives it monopolistic gatekeeper power over our nation’s cable TV and Internet access, which are increasingly viewed as necessities by Americans. These already stubbornly uncompetitive markets, where rates only go up and service never improves, will only grow more uncompetitive with this massive consolidation; thus it can in no way be considered in the public interest.

For independent creative media artists, unfettered access to cable TV and, most importantly, the Internet are vital to reaching their audiences. This combination creates a behemoth that has the power to restrict that access even more, particularly with no Net Neutrality rules in place (although Comcast is bound until 2018 by a Net Neutrality condition in its last giant takeover of NBC-Universal).

Comcast’s legendarily low-rated customer service and satisfaction managed to turn their “It’s Comcastic!” slogan into a derisive jeer (wasn’t the cable repair guy s’posed to show up three days ago? Comcastic! My car just hit a giant pothole and needs an alignment — Comcastic!).  What can you say about Comcast’s latest takeover? Yep, it’s Comcastic! And we trust that the regulators will agree and stop it as contrary to the public interest.

Tim Wu writes an excellent article in The New Yorker arguing along similar lines, here.