Most US consumers oppose Comcast-TWC mega-merger
| 21 June 2014
Most consumers in the United States oppose the proposed merger of the country’s biggest cable TV and broadband Internet providers, according to a new survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The $45.2 billion deal, which would combine Comcast with Time Warner Cable, is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission.
Cable TV companies rank among the least trusted organisations that most Americans do business with, so it’s not surprising that the people are concerned. Almost three-quarters (74%) of the public say they believe that prices will rise if the merger goes through, and two-thirds say that Comcast will have less incentive to improve customer service.
“Most Americans don’t have time to follow complicated corporate mergers but this deal has definitely captured the public’s attention,” said Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for study sponsor Consumers Union. “Consumers are tired of rising monthly bills and lousy customer service for cable and Internet and have little faith that this mega merger will make things any better.”
Respondents said they were also worried that the deal will be a blow to net neutrality, the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally. With fewer, bigger gatekeepers in place, 81% of people surveyed were at least somewhat concerned that the combined company would play favourites with video content.
The new Comcast would control more than two-thirds of all cable television subscribers in the country, and nearly 40% of the high-speed Internet market. Also, along with its role as a service provider, Comcast is a content creator and broadcaster through its controlling interest in NBC Universal