Comcast, TWC Shareholders Approve Merger, Our Destruction

Comcast, TWC Shareholders Approve Merger, Our Destruction

South Park Time Warner Cable 310x

CABLE SUBSCRIBERS, PREPARE, FOR THE AGE OF RECKONING IS UPON YOU!

Comcast's shareholders gave the cable giant's plans to merge with Time Warner Cable the green light yesterday, while TWC voters followed suit earlier today. The Comcast vote, in which 99 percent of voters in attendance approved the merger, will see Comcast issue 2.875 shares of the company's common stock for every share of Time Warner Cable stock available.

After Comcast cleared its own path in Philadelphia, Time Warner Cable held a shareholder meeting in New York City earlier today, where the merger met similar 99 percent approval.

If the $45 billion merger is cleared, Time Warner Cable CEO Brian Roberts will receive $80 million as he exits the company.

These shareholder meetings are the latest steps that will lead to a Comcast-TWC merger, but there are several more that need to take place. The merger has not yet been cleared by the U.S. government, and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has come out strongly against the deal. And the Senator is not the only one -- just ask the Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky what he thinks of the proposed merger.

The merger has far-reaching implications for the American consumer, including quality of Internet access in the United States, corporate monopoly practices, and of course net neutrality. One giant entity with tens of millions of Internet subscribers, along with content under the NBC and Universal brands, will be a focal point as the Open Internet debate rages on.

Sources: Comcast, THR

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"CABLE SUBSCRIBERS, PREPARE, FOR THE AGE OF RECKONING IS UPON YOU!"
Naw, I am all good here in NL on cable.
HDTV and 50/10 Mbit Internet for €40 a month. About 50 bucks I'd say.
5,8 MByte/sec downstream always, zero probs.

Sorry Americans, I feel for you... :(

<clings very, very tightly to Shaw>

This is messed. Good luck, guys.

Interesting... even less competition than before, not that there was much. this reminds me again of the "fast lane" bullshit again.

As bad as I feel for Americans in this matter, I can help but be curious as to see what such a thing as poor internet service would do to a super power in the modern world. since the EU has done their whole thing making preferential speeds etc illegal this would be a very interesting case study as to the true value of the internet in our modern world.

Naturally my hypothesis is that having artificial limitations placed on internet services would prove to be economically devastating as companies move their servers, and bank accounts, to other nations and away from America. But ja, here's hoping that doesn't come to pass

Ouch... gee ... sucks to be an American... I mean the fact that it's been allowed to get this far more or less shows what makes therules in washington... Cheque Books.

Welp, it was a good run, strike up a jaunty tune boys, it looks like we are going down with the ship.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5f3-jB0-do

BigTuk:
Ouch... gee ... sucks to be an American... I mean the fact that it's been allowed to get this far more or less shows what makes therules in washington... Cheque Books.

Try reading the article again... it hasn't yet been "allowed" and probably won't be. The government will most likely strike this down due to anti-monopoly laws.

Good thing I stopped caring about television years ago. I don't think the deal would pass. At that point it's going to be a huge monopoly. Of course greedy fucks like these people always have political moles in the government to make sure they get what they want.

Dragonbums:
Good thing I stopped caring about television years ago. I don't think the deal would pass. At that point it's going to be a huge monopoly. Of course greedy fucks like these people always have political moles in the government to make sure they get what they want.

It's not just television Comcast deals in, they also provide Internet and phone services.

OP-No shit the shareholders would vote yes, it's more money in their pocket. It's bad enough that just about everywhere anyone lives these are the only two options to pick from, having this be approved would be ruining.

Dying_Jester:

Dragonbums:
Good thing I stopped caring about television years ago. I don't think the deal would pass. At that point it's going to be a huge monopoly. Of course greedy fucks like these people always have political moles in the government to make sure they get what they want.

It's not just television Comcast deals in, they also provide Internet and phone services.

No shit the shareholders would vote yes, it's more money in their pocket. It's bad enough that just about everywhere anyone lives these are the only two options to pick from, having this be approved would be ruining.

Riiiight... that is unless they can spend a few million to get argue the definition of the term monopoly. I mean technically so long as there is one other cable company... there isn't a monopoly is there?

BigTuk:

Riiiight... that is unless they can spend a few million to get argue the definition of the term monopoly. I mean technically so long as there is one other cable company... there isn't a monopoly is there?

Why would they need to? They've already got entire swaths of legislators being paid through their special interest groups. Hell, the heads of the FCC are currently comprised of former Comcast and Verizon attorneys and lobbyists.

The Telecom/ISP situation in the US today is so fucked up it's a wonder we all aren't paying thousands per month for service whose quality is barely above dial-up.

Yet another reason I'm glad I cut the cord a while back.

This is so anti-competitive, it's not something even a hefty fine would fix. These people need prison time for this type of behavior. But alas, you don't have a real regulatory body to, well, regulate.

Quasi-related: a Comcast employee informed me that they are pulling out of my Midwest market in the next six months. They're being "replaced" by some company I've never heard of - could be Comcast in disguise, for all I know. He more or less confirmed that the move is part of a strategy to avoid antitrust legislation by preemptively abandoning the less lucrative markets. If Comcast is only allowed to dominate cable TV and broadband in, say, 49% of the country, they're gonna opt to snatch up the wealthier coasts and leave the Midwest/South to other providers.

Might be good news for some of us. New guys can't be worse than Comcast, can they?

Side note: this same Comcast employee spent about an hour trying to blame internet issues on the router, the "cheap" service package, the wiring in the house - basically anything that would fall under our purview. I repeatedly told him it was most likely the cable from the alley to the house, which is their responsibility, and he repeatedly ignored me. When we "fixed" everything else and it was still shit, he finally ventured outside to check their infrastructure, discovered it had fallen apart, and begrudgingly did his actual fucking job.

wetfart:
Yet another reason I'm glad I cut the cord a while back.

How are you posting here?

This does have VERY far reaching implications but I believe that if this goes through and Internet providers get more and more powerful that something from Washington will come down on them and come down hard.

I like hearing that politicians are coming out against this and in few more years I will bet money that more will.

Also very inspired picture choice, Devin. :)

Vigormortis:

BigTuk:

Riiiight... that is unless they can spend a few million to get argue the definition of the term monopoly. I mean technically so long as there is one other cable company... there isn't a monopoly is there?

Why would they need to? They've already got entire swaths of legislators being paid through their special interest groups. Hell, the heads of the FCC are currently comprised of former Comcast and Verizon attorneys and lobbyists.

The Telecom/ISP situation in the US today is so fucked up it's a wonder we all aren't paying thousands per month for service whose quality is barely above dial-up.

I'm sure that's somewhere in their 5-10 year business plan.

WarpedLord:

BigTuk:
Ouch... gee ... sucks to be an American... I mean the fact that it's been allowed to get this far more or less shows what makes therules in washington... Cheque Books.

Try reading the article again... it hasn't yet been "allowed" and probably won't be. The government will most likely strike this down due to anti-monopoly laws.

Yes but there's still the fact that it's gotten this far in the process that only your government can come in and stop, and you have a CEO with a very big bonus riding on getting it through. In otherwords while it seems like an obvious situation for the government banhammer corporate thinks they have real a chance of pulling it off. Why?

Therein lies the problem, and getting back to the original post being quoted.

People are making a big deal out of this. It won't change Net Neutrality, and nothing on the consumer end will change. Whether it will get though anti-trust is another deal altogether. But, I just use them for internet. I got rid of cable years ago and I have not been happier. I'll buy DVD sets of shows I'm interested in, watch them on Amazon, Hulu, etc, and then I don't have to worry about the bullshit. I get fantastic internet though it could be cheaper, but it's not all that expensive. Overall my phone bill is higher.

RandV80:

WarpedLord:

BigTuk:
Ouch... gee ... sucks to be an American... I mean the fact that it's been allowed to get this far more or less shows what makes therules in washington... Cheque Books.

Try reading the article again... it hasn't yet been "allowed" and probably won't be. The government will most likely strike this down due to anti-monopoly laws.

Yes but there's still the fact that it's gotten this far in the process that only your government can come in and stop, and you have a CEO with a very big bonus riding on getting it through. In otherwords while it seems like an obvious situation for the government banhammer corporate thinks they have real a chance of pulling it off. Why?

Therein lies the problem, and getting back to the original post being quoted.

As of right now, it's up to the companies to Ok it first, which has just happened. It's not an issue of, "but it's got so far already". It literally hasn't gotten far at all, it's just begun. It's literally the same in every country as it is here. No one can squash something that hasn't even been OK'ed by the people in charge of the companies. But I know, it's so cool to call America and Americans stupid that you were blinded by the fact that there was nothing to actually deny till yesterday. And now, the government will jump in, accordingly.

Oh fuck...

Well, this fills me with stark, unreasoning terror.

Partly because it's like watching Katamari: Media Mogul Edition in action, and knowing the people, park benches, and buildings it's steamrolling will all be offered up to the .01% corporate deities whose pocketbooks are already so bloated they can outright buy their own country.

The more concerning part however, is relying on a thoroughly lopsided system[1] to do something in our best interest. Not impossible, but nothing this administration has done so far has given me any faith or reason to believe in them. God(s-of-your-choice)-willing, the government's anti-trust/monopoly laws are enough to kill this thing dead, but if not, you can bet your ass that anyone living in a major city or metropolitan area beholden to these corporate fuckwads is going to find their service getting worse while their bills continue to go up.

For once I'm actually glad to be living in a relatively rural area...

[1] I won't go so far as to say "absolutely corrupt," but it sure feels like we're getting there.

FieryTrainwreck:
Quasi-related: a Comcast employee informed me that they are pulling out of my Midwest market in the next six months. They're being "replaced" by some company I've never heard of - could be Comcast in disguise, for all I know. He more or less confirmed that the move is part of a strategy to avoid antitrust legislation by preemptively abandoning the less lucrative markets. If Comcast is only allowed to dominate cable TV and broadband in, say, 49% of the country, they're gonna opt to snatch up the wealthier coasts and leave the Midwest/South to other providers.

Might be good news for some of us. New guys can't be worse than Comcast, can they?

Side note: this same Comcast employee spent about an hour trying to blame internet issues on the router, the "cheap" service package, the wiring in the house - basically anything that would fall under our purview. I repeatedly told him it was most likely the cable from the alley to the house, which is their responsibility, and he repeatedly ignored me. When we "fixed" everything else and it was still shit, he finally ventured outside to check their infrastructure, discovered it had fallen apart, and begrudgingly did his actual fucking job.

It wouldn't surprise me if TWC and Comcast sold some of their market share to other small cable companies (who have a high chance of being owned, if not by the two major companies, by the big wigs already well invested in TWC/Comcast), just to skirt around anti-trust laws and public resentment for them. You'd be surprise how many apparently competing brands in a variety of markets are actually owned by the same, relatively unknown to the public, megacorp. The beast this merger is trying to form is just the kind of monster that would do that to hide its illicit nature.

I had a similar problem as you. Internet would cut out for maybe 30 seconds every 5-20 minutes, every so often. TV was always fine. This problem lasted for over 7 months while they blamed our modem (replaced, problem persisted), then the buried cable going under a path that is occasionally driven over by our vehicles. Fixing that several times didn't affect the problem at all, we just thought it did since the problem was unpredictable. Finally, they sent out a guy who said he was a higher tier (commercial service qualified, whoo!) serviceman. The first thing he did was check the signal. It was FUBAR. He then found the problem was a connector wasn't compatible with internet frequencies 10 feet away from the modem that some other inept cableguy put on, probably when they moved the entry point to the opposite side of the house for the company's convenience (aka renting less telecom poles). A quick fix was all we needed for half a year. Thanks, Comcast, for finally sending out a guy who was trained right, after 3 others.

Baresark:
People are making a big deal out of this. It won't change Net Neutrality, and nothing on the consumer end will change. Whether it will get though anti-trust is another deal altogether. But, I just use them for internet. I got rid of cable years ago and I have not been happier. I'll buy DVD sets of shows I'm interested in, watch them on Amazon, Hulu, etc, and then I don't have to worry about the bullshit. I get fantastic internet though it could be cheaper, but it's not all that expensive. Overall my phone bill is higher.

People are making a big deal since these companies have already done petty bastard things like ignore small towns that want fast internet, then, when the small cities start setting up their own municipal broadband, lobby the state government to pass laws preventing competition in a market they weren't interested in until competition showed up. Not to mention, they're still throttling their cable competition like Netflix or Amazon Instant and still lobbying against Net Neutrality along with instating stupidly low data caps, just so they can nickle and dime their customers more while barely putting more into newer infrastructure equipment. They hate cable cutters like you and me, since they aren't milking us as bad (hence the Open internet issues even existing). (Well, my parent's house still has cable TV, but I gave up my cable box 4 years ago. And, I'm sure the phone call to activate internet at my own future house will be painful until the company rep has exhausted all of the cable TV sales pitch lines in her/his script.)

The politics and shady business behind cable companies are astounding. They're also basically gerrymandering the markets between each other both well before this merger and now, to try and make it legal. They are out for themselves, even after being rich enough to buy a fleet of yachts, and the only thing stopping them is a board loaded up with their former lobbyists and the FTC[1] (which, I no doubt, has plenty of big business friends staffing it as well). If we don't bitch and moan, the government will let more crap like this happen. SOPA (AKA near-Chinese level censorship, just in the hands of media execs) was stopped (or at least slowed down) thanks to everyone on the net whining and committing a 1-day Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum with their websites.

[1] I'm fairly certain the FTC will stop this merger, but a public opinion against it will help the odds and maybe prevent lesser takeovers. AT&T and Direct TV are also about to merge. I read an article about the connotations (positive and negative) of that one, and some Direct TV customers might be concerned.

McCoy Pauley - Neuromancer:
"Motive," the construct said. "Real motive problem, with
an [JSC]. Not human, see?"
"Well, yeah, obviously."
"Nope. I mean, it's not human. And you can't get a handle
on it. Me, I'm not human either, but I respond like one. See?"

I, by now, theoretize about big Companies and their sociopathic behavior and came to the conclusion, that they are just a human wired AI or Alien Brain, what ever you'd call it.

So I guess us Time Warner customers will soon be getting the same shitty level of service that Comcast users have already had for years. The trouble is, it'd be hard to really justify nixing this on an antitrust level because they were never really "competing" with each other in the first place, unless people wanted to literally move out of state just to change Internet providers. No two cable companies serve the same region anywhere in America that I'm aware of.

Frankly, and I may have said this before, I'd like to see a push towards just shutting down the whole private cable/telecom infrastructure and setting up a universal, government-run Internet service. I mean, the Founding Fathers, whose political views fell somewhere to the right of present-day Tea Party members, saw fit to make a nationwide postal service one of the few stated duties of their newly-formed government, and isn't the Internet the modern-day equivalent of that? The only real objection people could ever really have to such a thing is that they'd be able to spy on everything we do online, and... well, they already do and everybody knows it, so what's the harm?

God i really wish that google fiber would come to san jose so i could quit cable

don't they still need Federal approval? i hope they get turned down.. both companies are horrible.. I should know, I have Time Warner for both cable and internet cause no other providers are available where i live

Ah, go to hell, Comcast. Well...go there quicker than you were before, at any rate. Frankly, I hope your merger actually causes your company more trouble than it was worth, as I seem to recall Time Warner beng shit.

WarpedLord:

BigTuk:
Ouch... gee ... sucks to be an American... I mean the fact that it's been allowed to get this far more or less shows what makes therules in washington... Cheque Books.

Try reading the article again... it hasn't yet been "allowed" and probably won't be. The government will most likely strike this down due to anti-monopoly laws.

to be fair, the government did not do it for every other monopolistic merger, so that would actually be an exception.

 

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