Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion

The friendly takeover comes as a surprise after months of public pursuit of Time Warner Cable by smaller rival Charter Communications Inc, and immediately raised questions as to whether it would pass the scrutiny of anti-trust regulators.

I can’t imagine how this will go forward. First NBC-Universal, now Time Warner Cable.

The combined company would divest 3 million subscribers, about a quarter of Time Warner’s 12 million customers. Together with Comcast’s 22 million video subscribers, the roughly 30 million total would represent just under 30 percent of the U.S. pay television video market.

The new cable giant would tower over its closest video competitor, DirecTV, which has about 20 million video customers.

To me, this does not sound like anything but bad new for subscribers.

  • Moeskido

    This is dismal news if it’s allowed to happen. All these mergers “create” are increased executive compensation and poorer service for higher prices.

    Hooray for deregulation.

    • Sigivald

      What “deregulation” do you think has anything to do with this?

      Comcast and TWC aren’t competitors in any market, are they? As matthewmaurice said, cable providers have government-granted monopolies, in the US.

      Since they weren’t competing, why would a merger do the bad things you suggest?

      They still have to compete with satellite and telco providers, and in the more important markets, fiber.

      (Want competition? Deregulate – kill the cable monopolies. Regulation always helps big, entrenched interests vs. smaller and newer ones.

      Hooray for deregulation! Maybe we should try some sometime?)

      • Moeskido

        So you’re saying fewer players in this space is a good thing for anyone but C-levels?

  • matthewmaurice

    Actually, the irony is that regulation is, in this case, the problem. Almost everywhere, in the US at least, a cable provider has a geographic monopoly. This merger just extends the footprint of a particularly voracious provider. Comcast clearly wants to be the Amazon of home and business cable, broadband, and VOIP (cf their participation in the Seattle mayoral race to defeat an incumbent who wanted to provide cable and broadband as a municipal utility).

    What I’d like to see is a really good broadband-only (since it has far few regulatory and licensing obstacles) service that competes with the big cable providers, at least for their ISP business.

    • lucascott

      If it was treated as a utility with certain regulations on pricing, required level of service etc then I might be okay with it. But as it is, nope.

      And of course this just ruins the new Apple TV (which I don’t buy the talk for a second but it’s fun watching the media scramble)