Why Charter Thinks Their Plan To Buy TWC Is Different Enough To Succeed Where Comcast Failed

Why Charter Thinks Their Plan To Buy TWC Is Different Enough To Succeed Where Comcast Failed

After months of rumors, this morning it became official: Charter plans to step in where Comcast failed, with a $55 billion plan to acquire Time Warner Cable. Regulators looked unfavorably on Comcast’s bid, finding it would have too many negative effects on consumers and on competition. But Charter clearly would not be trying its own takeover, with such a huge price tag, if they didn’t think they stood a good chance of success. So what makes the second offer so different from the first — and is it any more likely to succeed? [More]

Why Your Cable Company Doesn’t Always Know If Your New Address Gets Service

Pixel

There’s a story we hear far too often: someone is buying a house. Before they put any money down, they do their research. They call the local cable/Internet provider to make sure they can get broadband service at this new address. They double-check. They triple-check. They search the property for wires, call back, and make sure they’ll be okay. Then they take out the mortgage, move in, and… surprise! There’s no broadband service after all, there won’t be any, and now they’re up a very expensive creek. [More]

FCC Chair: Relax, Cable Companies, Not All Mergers Are Necessarily Doomed Forever

FCC Chair: Relax, Cable Companies, Not All Mergers Are Necessarily Doomed Forever

The collapse of the much-discussed, absolutely enormous Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger earlier this year might have been an occasion for consumers and consumer advocates to cheer — but for businesses, it was much less good news. Cable companies that want to buy other cable companies are kind of freaked out: what if the FCC is hostile to their plans, too? [More]

GM: That Car You Bought? We’re Really The Ones Who Own It.

GM: That Car You Bought? We’re Really The Ones Who Own It.

Congratulations! You just bought a new Chevy, GMC, or Cadillac. You really like driving it. And it’s purchased, not leased, and all paid off with no liens, so it’s all yours… isn’t it? Well, no, actually: according to GM, it’s still theirs. You just have a license to use it. [More]

Cablevision Sues Verizon Over FiOS Ads, Claims Verizon’s Touted All-Fiber Network Actually Isn’t

Cablevision Sues Verizon Over FiOS Ads, Claims Verizon’s Touted All-Fiber Network Actually Isn’t

Most of the country doesn’t have much competition for broadband services. But in some of New York City’s boroughs, particularly Brooklyn and the Bronx, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS fight head to head for residential customers. The battle between the two is often ugly, and with a new lawsuit filed yesterday, it just got uglier. [More]

AT&T CEO: We Can Invest In Our Company Despite Net Neutrality Because It’ll Lose In Court Anyway

AT&T CEO: We Can Invest In Our Company Despite Net Neutrality Because It’ll Lose In Court Anyway

All of the big ISPs hate the FCCs new net neutrality rule. They’ve been protesting the agency’s decision since before it was even made. And yet the top executives at the cable ISPs have all by now explained why net neutrality is not actually a threat to their businesses, and this week was AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s turn. [More]

Lawmakers Propose Bill To Prevent Businesses From Suing You For Complaining About Them

Lawmakers Propose Bill To Prevent Businesses From Suing You For Complaining About Them

Most of the time, consumer interactions with businesses go just fine. We give a company our money, they provide us with goods or services, and everyone is happy. But sometimes, things go awry. The customer isn’t happy, the business doesn’t make it right, and we complain: not just to the business, but to Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp. And that, too often, is when the story starts to get even uglier. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Report: Cleveland’s Cox Cable Customers Will Soon Be Subject To Data Caps

Cox cable customers are about to join many of the rest of us nationwide in a club that nobody particularly wants to be in: the not-so-illustrious crowd of those who have usage limits on their home broadband service, and have to cough up extra cash for any extra bits and bytes. [More]

Verizon/AOL Merger: Good For Their Business, Bad For Your Privacy

Verizon/AOL Merger: Good For Their Business, Bad For Your Privacy

Every day, the great amorphous mass of consumers creates millions upon millions of trackable, quantifiable pieces of data. Every purchase at every store. Every click on every website, every bit of geotagged data, every installed or opened app and every interaction on social media. All of it adds up together into one giant Mount Everest of data to be sliced, diced, bought, sold, and traded. [More]

Want To Break Up Your Cable Bundle But Keep Your Favorite Channels? That Could Be About $250

Want To Break Up Your Cable Bundle But Keep Your Favorite Channels? That Could Be About $250

A certain segment of consumers have been clamoring for years for cable distributors to break up the monolithic, 300-channel bundle into a la carte offerings. For those who don’t watch sports, the logic goes, why pay for ESPN? Why pay for TLC if you don’t watch reality TV, or CNN if you don’t give a damn about news? [More]

Court: NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Is Illegal

Court: NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Is Illegal

A federal appeals court has ruled this morning that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program is in violation of federal law. [More]

Privacy Advocates Sue Virginia Police Over Data From Automatic License Plate Scanners

Privacy Advocates Sue Virginia Police Over Data From Automatic License Plate Scanners

By itself, your license plate doesn’t say much except in what state, month, and year you registered your car. But start tracking where and when that license plate goes, and you’ve suddenly got a whole huge pile of personal data about all the comings and goings in someone’s life. We’ve reported before that license plate scanning by public and private entities is both widespread and unregulated. Now, the ACLU is suing police in one state to get them to stop. [More]

Netflix To FCC: You Should Block The AT&T/DirecTV Merger Unless Conditions Are Added

Netflix To FCC: You Should Block The AT&T/DirecTV Merger Unless Conditions Are Added


AT&T and DirecTV announced their big corporate betrothal the better part of a year ago. The planned merger between the two companies has, comparatively speaking, flown under the radar as so much time and attention fell to the now-collapsed Comcast/TWC plans. But now that the 30-million ton elephant has left the merger room, all eyes are swiveling back to the other looming giant. [More]

Big Credit Card Data Breach Hits Bars And Restaurants Using Harbortouch Point-of-Sale Systems

Big Credit Card Data Breach Hits Bars And Restaurants Using Harbortouch Point-of-Sale Systems

In much of the country, this is the first truly warm week of the year. The change of seasons has us turning to shorts, dresses, sandals, and chilled fruity drinks served in rooftop bars. But data breaches, alas, are always in style, and buying that beverage may land you with a stolen credit card number. [More]

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference on May 4, 2015.

FCC Chair: Comcast Made Right Decision Scrapping Merger; Plan For Net Neutrality Is “Not To Lose”

We’re barely into May, and it’s already been an incredibly busy year for the FCC. Even major issues like a spectrum auction and a ruling on municipal broadband were overshadowed by the two huge proceedings around net neutrality and the Comcast/TWC merger. And so when FCC chairman Tom Wheeler sat down for a “fireside chat” at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York this week, he had a lot to say. [More]

Time has apparently not been kind at all to those Cheerios.

Played With That Viral Age-Guesser This Week? You Just Gave Microsoft A Bunch Of Free Photos To Use

If you use Facebook, Twitter, or basically any part of the internet at all, sometime in the last 24 hours you’ve seen Microsoft’s newest tool, the age-guesser. Everyone’s sharing it, using it, and laughing over (or feeling insulted by) the results. But the tool’s rapid spread also accidentally highlights one of the biggest challenges of the digital age: the fine print. [More]

Why Everyone Is Suddenly Dying To Buy A Cable Company You May Never Even Have Heard Of

Why Everyone Is Suddenly Dying To Buy A Cable Company You May Never Even Have Heard Of

Odds are (unless you live in central Florida) that you probably don’t know much about Bright House Networks. The cable company serves about 2 million TV and internet customers, mostly in Florida and also in Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, and California. But in the many eddies rippling through the cable world after the sinking of the Comcast/TWC merger, this one regional provider may be poised to make or break some pretty big deals. [More]

Hey, AT&T Customers: If You Plan To Grab A Slice Of The Cramming Settlement, Do It Right Now

A friendly reminder to AT&T wireless customers: as a result of their $105m settlement with the FTC, the company has to pay refunds for cramming. The application deadline for refunds is May 1 — that’s tomorrow. You can visit the settlement website to see if you’re eligible or to submit a claim.