Former Comcast Employee Makes Best Argument Yet For Blocking Time Warner Cable Merger

Since Comcast announced it would be buying Time Warner Cable, we’ve brought you story after story highlighting the various reasons that the merger should be stopped. But for all the thousands of words, charts, graphs and maps we’ve used, none has summed up the reason for blocking the merger than a recent quote from a former Kabletown staffer.

The Verge’s Adrianne Jeffries has written a compelling and thoughtfully researched piece that anyone even vaguely interested in this topic should read.

But it’s a closing comment from a former Comcast billing systems manager who left the company in 2013 that puts the cherry on top:

“This is not getting bigger to provide cheaper service, or economies of scale, or to provide better service,” the onetime Comcast staffer explains. “This is getting bigger for the sake of bigness. This is really like, ‘I own 10 Subway stores and now I want an 11th one.’… Well, if your 10 Subway stores have Cs from the health department, I don’t know if you should get an 11th one. Maybe you should work on getting them cleaned out.”

That’s a message that every FCC commissioner and every antitrust investigator at the Justice Dept. should have pinned to their cubicle wall.

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  1. Snarkapus says:

    I think Comcast SHOULD be allowed to merge..as long as every agreement granting them monopoly status at the city/county level is rendered invalid. Since Comcast is saying that they’re all in favor of competition because they have so much of it (snort), they should be willing to compete with anyone who wants to run a fiber line, or other sorts of community broadband.

    • Mokona512 says:

      A Comcast and Time Warner merger will also cause massive amounts of permanent harm to the entertainment industry and significantly raise the cost of entertainment throughout the entire country. A merger of this scale will essentially makes Comcast a gatekeeper to entertainment success, since they’ll be the gatekeeper to the majority of a network viewers. This overbearing level of bargaining power on the side of Comcast will allow them to engage in incredibly unfair content agreements because they will have the power to essentially put almost any other network/concert producer on a business (how many businesses do you know of that can withstand an instant loss of the majority of their customers and still afford to pay the bills). At best if Comcast and Time Warner merge, they will have the bargaining power to force networks and content creators into deals where their work is incredibly undervalued, and thus, content producers and networks will in turn use their leverage on smaller cable networks to charge significantly higher rates to carry their content. The end result in such a situation, would be significantly higher cable bills for customers on other cable TV providers, while Comcast will simply increase their profit margin due to the lower cost of the content that they receive due to their increased bargaining power and unfair dealings which undervalue the content producers work. (essentially allowing Comcast to indirectly extract money from customer of other cable providers around the country, regardless of if they compete or not)

  2. LooseSasquatch says:

    Yes, Comcast and Time Warner SHOULD be allowed to merge. And then the FCC should go ahead and declare that cable/internet is a utility and that all ISPs have to allow other providers to use their networks are a reasonable market rate (just like cell providers) along with invalidating every rule in every city/town/municipality/county/state/etc about preventing public internet networks. Also, net neutrality as it is currently thought of must be maintained.

    Finally, the government has to rule that if you are a cable provider, that you can’t also be a content provider and invalidate their merger with NBC/Universal and prevent Comcast from running it’s own sports stations (and screwing over local fans like the Dodgers and Astros do in LA and Houston respectively).

    I know this will never happen, but it’s what OUGHT to happen. . .