You are hereBlogs / dlindorff's blog / The impact on communications will be disastrous: Comcast and Time-Warner Cable Play Real-Life Monopoly

The impact on communications will be disastrous: Comcast and Time-Warner Cable Play Real-Life Monopoly


By dlindorff - Posted on 24 February 2014

By Alfredo Lopez


It might seem like a game of Monopoly played by real monopolies and, with a tired groan, one might be tempted to dismiss it as part of an ugly but irreversible trend. But the merger of cable-television mammoth Comcast with its runner-up competitor Time-Warner Cable [1] is a huge piece of news whose outcome, if it goes forward, will be crippling to communications in this country.

With this $45-billion deal, Comcast's 21.7 million subscribers will combine with Time-Warner's 11.4 million to put most tv subscribers in the pocket of one company, giving it control over about a third of all cable TV customers and unprecedented leverage over smaller regional and local providers. (Comcast has agreed to "divest" or sell off about 3 million subscribers, a ripple in the power pond.) Since cable television is now the primary source of news, education and entertainment for a large and increasing number of American families, this deal would make one company our primary newspaper, movie theater and library.

What's more, the deal would deepen the grave for the Internet as we know it: a grave already being dug with the recent Net Neutrality decision [2]. Both Comcast and Time-Warner are major providers of high-speed Internet services. By combining Internet with the cable television services, the companies have been able to offer a slightly lower price and more convenient hook-up for Internet connectivity than the telephone and other companies offering it. That's won them a huge market -- about 40 percent of all high-speed connections in this country.

That market power has allowed Comcast to strike first in taking advantage of the recent Net Neutrality decisions. Netflix, the popular Internet-based movie and television provider, has now agreed to pay Comcast more money for smoother and quicker connections signalling a blow to Net Neutrality.

What that will do to prices is anyone's guess but the more important threat is to Net Neutrality because, with one company controlling so much of the market and legally allowed to choose what you can and can't access, there will be no open Internet. It will turn into a clone of cable television: charging you more for seeing some pages on the newspaper, viewing certain movies in the theater and accessing sections of the library.

 

The courts can stop this merger. Most analysts doubt they will.

Anti-trust laws have a critical place in modern capitalism. With an imperative to grow, companies always attempt to corner their market. And when they become big, companies can do virtually anything they want and have always been able to...


For the rest of this article by ALFREDO LOPEZ in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2158

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.