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Comcast agrees to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion

By Himanshu Arora ยท 24 replies
Feb 13, 2014
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  1. Comcast has agreed today to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion ($69 billion including debt) in an all-stock deal. As per the deal, Comcast will pay $158.82 per share for TWC's 277.9 million outstanding shares, which is about $23...

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  2. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    Start writing letters to our FCC office guys.
  3. j05hh

    j05hh TS Booster Posts: 171   +42

    What affect does this have on the consumers?
  4. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    "since both companies do not compete directly anywhere, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which is usually responsible for antitrust reviews, probably won't question the deal."

    that's the biggest pile of **** I've ever heard. that's basically saying, we weren't competing before because each had big enough shares of the market, now we for sure won't compete at all in the future because we'll own 1/3 of the market combined.
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,995   +1,378

    How can this not be construed as a monopoly?
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,107   +1,383

    Your bill will say Comcast on the top.

    They weren't competing because they were in different parts of the country. Not pile of ****, just geography.

    Your TV choices remain the same. You can get the exact same thing from DirecTV, U-verse, Dish Network etc. If they merged with DirecTV and Dish went under, then it would be monopoly.
    Think about it this way.... yesterday you had 5 choices for Television. Today you have 5 choices for Television. The difference today is, if you live in an area where the cable provider was Time Warner, then now it's Comcast. Since no one lived in an area where both Time Warner and Comcast were available, there's not a single person in the country who has fewer TV choices today than they did yesterday. Therefore, it's not a monopoly.

    Compare to T-Mo and Sprint merging. They're not big, but as a consumer you'd have fewer choices if they do. That's why they're getting heat and Comcast isn't.
    GhostRyder likes this.
  7. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    Could not have said it better, well put sir.
  8. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    think about it this way, yesterday you had one choice in your area due to lack of competition because no two cable giant wanted to step on each other's toes, and tomorrow you'll still have one choice left in your area, but not only that, the possibility of overlapping service just got eliminated. you sound like someone who would lobby for the cable companies, I for one would like to see more providers, not less, more choices, not the same. they tried to pull the same fast one last year between Deutch telecome and ATT and got struck down because the market was already lacking competition between only 4~5 major players. now the cable market, talking cable, not satellite. is only dominated by around 3 players across the vast continent. Statellite is not the same as cable, as consumers are forced to choose one or another due to geographical reason, and weather, you can't say they're the mutually exclusive. not to mention when it comes to internet speed, you can't replace cable with satellite. the speed for satellite is not there, nor is DSL.

    IF the current market in place has 5 choices like you said that are all equally competitive with the same speed, service, same coverage area, then yes, it would NOT be a monopoly, and I would have no problem letting them merge. but the fact that in many areas across the country you cannot replace your current network with an equivalent one or better, that gives the said provider the power to dictate the price in your area.
  9. If this is approved rest assured that your cable bill will go through the roof. If anything, Comcast and TW should be put into a position where they can compete in the same markets. Competition is healthy, mega companies with a quasi monopoly are not!
  10. jeromie

    jeromie TS Rookie

    A long time ago say 15 years at least TWC was Adelphia they sold out to Time Warner Cable and now Comcast wants to stamp their name on TWC. The problem with cable companies is they have huge sections of the country all neatly sectioned off from each other. It does not matter where you live there is usually only one choice for cable your local company. That being said I cut my cable cord long ago because no matter what that cable bill will always go up. They can tell you the price is locked but all they have to do is get you to lease that DVR and all of those extra set top boxes. There were only at best 8 good channels I watched on cable and did not justify what it cost per month.
  11. It appears that together they would own a very large portion of the countries internet backbone, I personally see no good coming from this at all and would be highly questionable about it. The other thing not mentioned in this article is that comcast employs data caps whereas TWC currently does not so that would affect customers in a negative way as well. Anyone who falls for the old we aren't in direct competition line is naive to fact that this is a power grab for control over a large portion of the nations internet backbone and will most definitely be used against consumers. This appears on it face to be a "free market issue" but will end up limiting the market as a whole and will not end up being free.
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Comcast over charges adds extra fees good luck with them. I only have one service from them which is the Internet. I keep a close eye on that bill for extra fees. I don't pay any hardware rental I own my D3 Cable Modem. I did go inside their box to get my TV connections so I can stream DTV to them. Plus rewired the box so download and upload speeds would be at peak instead of sluggish performance.

    I use to have Cox but in all both operate the say way to milk you for all the money they can get from you. Service and those rental STB HD and STB HD DVR are must handy downs from other customers. Bad HDD in DVR. You'll see when you have Comcast in your life.
  13. NTAPRO

    NTAPRO TS Evangelist Posts: 809   +102

    Time to hike the prices...
  14. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,602   +573

    Comcast phone support are all dummies, at least the ones I have talked with. The office support appears better but they still tried to rip off my 83 year old mother-in-law. Glad I have DISH
  15. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 978   +323

    They don't compete because the government grants local monopolies, I doubt you will ever see 2 cable companies (I mean cable not Satellite or DSL) in one area it is not allowed and I don't think it ever was.
  16. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,107   +1,383

    Why do you assume I'm in favor of something just because I explained it? I would also like to see more choices, not fewer. I'm one of the ones who's going to lose TWC and get Comcast along with their reputation for terrible customer service. it's still not a monopoly, and it's still perfectly legal, and I don't think they're going to gouge our prices because they're the only cable internet provider. There are other internet providers.
  17. The problem with competition in cable TV is just that, cable. A company owns that cable, and maintains it. This is much different than dish, or wireless.

    I live in the Kansas City area where Google Fiber is being rolled out. I happen to live in the only city, Overland Park, that isn't gonna get it so far. Google Fiber isn't free either, but will offer some competition when it is all said and done. I'm actually on Time Warner and am kind of worried about how my service and fees will change. It might make it one step closer to me going OTA broadcast. I have a Simple TV recording device for any DVR needs also so that would be covered. Time will tell how all this plays out.
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Way back before these CATV mega giants it was just $9.95 for HBO Service. Small mom and pop CATV are all gone they had the lowest prices. I had everything for $84 bucks. I could use my CATV ready TV without the STB. Once Comcast said no way you are required to use our expensive STB box and must rent it from us per month. We'll also charge you for the remote too. Rent the STB HD $5, the STB HD DVR $8 tack on the remote it's like $10 or $12. More you got the more it adds up.

    I had to speak to 15 Comcast CRS on the phone where none of them knew what they were doing. Only a new girl just started out could get my internet on the right subnet. That's a shame! I told Corp Exec CRS they gave me perks $120 for one year so that would give me $10 off per month, but the catch was you just can't have it you had to have basic CATV. Which I didn't so they Jerry Rig it like this made it seem I was on vacation. So it ended up costing me more just to have $10 off a month.

    Such a racket at Comcast. They're doing whatever they want and getting away with it. Have any of you been to Comcast Office to return or get new boxes. For the tech to come out to your home it's $50 bucks. So everyone has shopping bags bringing in their own STB for a new one. If you forget the power cord it will cost you $5 and if you forget the remote even more.

    Comcast Office is like going to the DMV Office more like the ER in the Hospital. I saying you pay taxes why now the city or county you live in office free WiFi Internet, then we just use our WiFi Router to tap into and no need for get on Comcast Bandwagon.

    I had them for digital phone $39 a month, CATV was $89 and Internet was $59 to $94. STB HD Boxes and STB HD DVR like it came to $2,000 per year. Plus they had to change all the Coax from RG59 to RG6 Quad cost me $250 for them to do all the work then learn it was done incorrectly.

    They came out and redid it but the one tech was here for over 9 hrs still he was so tired. Oh yes say you want a room to have CATV they cost you $30 to drill the hole and you have to pay for it right then when he does it. Nonsense. I had one tech give me extra Coax and joiners. No charge other techs would have charge extra for that.

    Like I said you don't save with CATV. I gone the DTV way and it's free OTA HD 1080i Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I can't complain. Picture is excellent no where near what Comcast was peddling.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,174   +3,479

    Hopefully, it will make them terminate their cable subscriptions with BOTH companies, as if they were dropping a hot potato with a scorpion on it.
  20. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    well lucky for you there're others. but not everyone is that lucky in this vast continent. not everyone have choices. even out here in LA, many counties don't have more than one choice. they've pretty much divided up the territories amongst themselves (the cable companies), and you don't get to choose. I guess if you live in an lala land then yeah, sure. but guess what, if I were running TW, or Comcast, and if held a large share, the most natural thing I would do is dictate my price and charge my customers more, since there're no competition that's equivalent. that's the ugly side of corporate capitalism; a corporation will do whatever it CAN to maximize its profit, and in modern times has proven to be short term profit, since CEO's and execs only care about share prices, since that's where majority of their money comes from. whatever drives up the share prices you can dump it high and retire. this is why there're watch dogs and agencies put in place to protect the consumers. you can't say it's legal, yet, whether it's legal or not, it's up to FCC and justice to define in the next 12 month. but it is our right to voice our concerns to those agencies.
  21. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,107   +1,383

    I don't understand your argument. You say that cable companies will gouge customers because they'll make more money and that's why Comcast shouldn't be allowed to buy TWC? TWC is a big cable company too. You're obviously against having a big company provide your cable, but Time Warner is also a big company, so what's the diff?

    And don't say 'yeah, but Comcast will be bigger' because locally if there's only one, the possible for price gouging is exactly the same for any size company. if you're the only game in town you can gouge prices, whether your big, small, medium, TWC, Comcast or whatever.

    The reality is though, they don't gouge prices, and people's choices aren't being restricted by this purchase. We can be upset because we like TWC and are sad to see it go (like me), but I can't make some argument based on speculation with no evidence.
  22. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    that's exactly the point, in many areas, maybe not where you live, they're they only game in town. so they can gouge prices if they want to. having them consolidate will just give them bigger share of the market to dictate their prices. out here in the west, if you want the speed of cable internet, you only have one cable provider in your area, like I said, they've pretty much divided up their market amongst themselves. if you want a different cable provider, you have to move to a different area. now if they were to merge, customers can't even move to a different area to get a different provider, they're stuck with the same provider. I don't know about you, that's pretty monopoly.

    this article pretty much sums it up. there's very little benefiting the consumers, other than driving up share prices. cable bill is already on a constant rise, double every 10 years average. and you won't see them rushing to put "better service and lower price" on their new contract if they were to merge. that is what they want you to believe. http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/tech/web/comcast-time-warner-consumer-impact/ unless they put that on the contract, you're pretty much trusting them with blind faith. I don't know about you, I'd rather trust a stripper than someone whose sole purpose is driven by stock prices.
  23. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,107   +1,383

    Maybe to you that's a monopoly, but to the courts it's not. The moving argument doesn't hold water.

    One very important thing missing from that CNN story that's probably missing because it doesn't fit their argument very well. CNN is doing their typical biased crap and betting that it's readers buy what they write without thinking about it.

    So what's missing? The WHY. Why prices went up. They don't go up because Comcast is driven by profits and is sticking it to their customers like they're implying. They go up because the OTHER big media companies in the equation are sticking it to THEIR customers. Who's that? That's NBC, CBS, ESPN, etc, and their customers are Comcast and TWC. Yes, Cable 20 years ago was $20/month. It was also 25 channels, mostly old movies and reruns. CNN would have us believe we're paying more for the same thing, which is completely untrue.

    Every so often the NFL or ESPN decides they want more money from the cable companies to carry their content and since there is no other ESPN or NFL. The cable companies push back because they don't want to raise cable bills.... because it makes people cut the cord and go online for TV. Those big bad, profit-driven cable companies are the only ones making sure CBS doesn't make your cable bill go up by $10/month. And this isn't speculation, this just happened. (When NBC asked for more money all the Milwaukee providers paid up, except for TWC. The reason.. quoted from the article... "because they are a dominant platform in Milwaukee and have the resources as a giant media conglomerate to endure a long period without resolution.") The same thing happened in Dallas, LA and NY.

    So that 'bully in the school yard' as CNN puts it actually has your back when the other bullies come around looking for more lunch money.
  24. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    Sounds like you've been watching too much faux news.

    like I said, no one can say for certain it's monopoly or not, until the court, FCC, and justice dept decide in the next 12 months. I clearly think it is, and you clearly don't. we clearly have to different points of views.

    you want to put all your faith into big mergers by all means, I personally would like to keep them separate.
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,174   +3,479

    Comcast has the tallest building in the city of Philadelphia. They're planning another, taller one, very soon. This one will have a 1/2 mile concourse to the PRR station. That didn't get that big, by being nice to people, in any way.

    Now, it's sort of stupid to say, "after the merger, Comcast will start sticking it to their customers", when that's what they've been doing all these years anyway.

    So, I have one meg DSL from Verizon, locked in for life @ $17.95. I have a love of OTA broadcast TV, I could abundantly care less, what epic misadventure Kim Kardashian's gigantic a**, has cast her afoul of this week, next week, ad naseum. Ergo, I don't need cable TV.

    As for the rest of you, you're quite tedious. If you had my internet service, you'd be whining and pouting because you couldn't game, you couldn't stream, and 1 GB porn-stravaganza, would take all night to download.

    So,you'd put your tail between your legs, and whine all the while you're continuing to pay Comcast whatever they ask.

    So, if you'd like to hurt them, ,just stop paying them, buy an antenna for your TV, and call Verizon for the same crappy DSL I have.

    And BTW, who do you think is paying for the all night road block TV slander-fest between "FIOS" and "X-Finity"? Fools like you!

    My suggestion would be to pare your services to the bone, and watch all the big telecoms hemorrhage cash and customers, but what do I know.
    Phr3d likes this.

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