That Was Fast: Charter Reportedly Already Reaching Out To TWC About Possible Merger

That Was Fast: Charter Reportedly Already Reaching Out To TWC About Possible Merger

Today’s headlines are all about Comcast failing to buy Time Warner Cable, but there weren’t just two players in the game. Another company is losing out: Charter would have been the lucky recipient of all the mega-merger’s spun-off customers, giving them greater consolidation over markets mainly in the midwest. But with the failure of the mega-merger, TWC is now minus one new owner, and Charter is minus all those new paying customers. So if a new deal i already in the works, well, color us unsurprised. [More]

Showtime May Soon Announce Standalone Streaming Service

Showtime May Soon Announce Standalone Streaming Service

Back in Nov. 2014, CBS CEO Les Moonves said that his company’s Showtime network would “fairly definitively” launch some sort of standalone streaming service in 2015. Since then, there hasn’t really been much news about it. But since HBO has launched HBO Now without the world coming to an end, it looks like it might be time for CBS to unveil that service. [More]

What Will Comcast Do With The $45B It Couldn’t Spend Buying Time Warner Cable?

What Will Comcast Do With The $45B It Couldn’t Spend Buying Time Warner Cable?

Comcast’s dream of achieving full coast-to-coast cable dominance this year came to an official end this morning when they had to admit the Time Warner Cable merger was just not going to happen. But Comcast is a huge business, with impatient shareholders. They need to continue proving growth, which means buying other businesses to make theirs bigger. TWC might not be on the table anymore, but something, somewhere has to be. [More]

Anatomy Of A Comcastrophe: A Look Back At How Comcast Failed To Buy Time Warner Cable For $45B

Anatomy Of A Comcastrophe: A Look Back At How Comcast Failed To Buy Time Warner Cable For $45B

We were skeptical from the start, but obviously someone at Comcast believed that the company would eventually be allowed to acquire Time Warner Cable for the massive sum of $45 billion. Yet this morning the nation’s largest pay-TV and Internet provider walked away from the mega-merger that would have given it unprecedented market share in both of these industries and control over cable and broadband service for the two largest cities in the U.S. So how did we get here? [More]

(Angie Six)

Which Beauty Subscription Boxes Are Actually Worth The Monthly Fee?

Monthly subscription boxes are currently a hot category in retail: vendors exist that can send you curated selections of everything from pet treats to razors to healthy snacks to butt wipes. One popular subcategory of these boxes are beauty sample boxes, which send you trial-size versions of beauty products to enjoy, and perhaps buy full-sized versions later on. Beauty brands and consumers both love these boxes…but which ones offer the best value for your subscription fee? [More]

(Tara Chavez)

Telemarketer Penalized $3.4M For Scamming Elderly Into Paying For Unwanted Medical Alert Service

Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission shut down a Brooklyn-based telemarketing scheme that bullied elderly consumers into paying for a medical alert service they never ordered or wanted. Now a federal court has hit the telemarketer’s repeat-offender operator with a $3.4 million penalty. [More]

AT&T Claims That DirecTV Merger Will Allow It To Expand GigaPower Fiber Network

AT&T Claims That DirecTV Merger Will Allow It To Expand GigaPower Fiber Network

While we’ve been critical of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, the motivation behind that deal is clear: It would instantly add 10 million customers to Comcast’s bottom line and give the company control over cable/broadband access for the two largest markets in the country. The reasoning behind the less-scrutinized marriage of AT&T and DirecTV isn’t as cut-and-dry. [More]

Katy Perry’s Attempt To Claim A Trademark On “Left Shark” Design Fails Like A Left Shark

Katy Perry’s Attempt To Claim A Trademark On “Left Shark” Design Fails Like A Left Shark

The “Left Shark” phenomenon that overtook the world after Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show has long since exited the cultural dialog, and yet the battle rages on over whether or not the pop star can claim a trademark on the uncoordinated, anthropomorphic fish. [More]

Top Cable Lobbyist Just Doesn’t See Why You Hate Your Cable Company When Google, Facebook Are Big Too

Top Cable Lobbyist Just Doesn’t See Why You Hate Your Cable Company When Google, Facebook Are Big Too

The NCTA is big cable’s big lobbying group. Right now, they’re trying their hardest to make sure the FCC can’t protect consumers and businesses from the largest ISPs with a lawsuit trying to block the FCC’s net neutrality rule. At the organization’s head head is former FCC chairman Michael Powell, who loves terrible internet speeds and data caps for all. [More]

(Rachel)

FBI, TSA Issue Warning To Airlines Over Possible Flight Hackings

A week after a government report identified security weaknesses within the airline industry including the possibility that newer airplanes with interconnected WiFi systems could be hacked, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Transportation Security Administration issued an alert warning airlines to be vigilant about monitoring for such threats. [More]

Aereo Settles $99 Million Copyright Claims With CBS, FOX, ABC For $950K

Aereo Settles $99 Million Copyright Claims With CBS, FOX, ABC For $950K

Even though poor little Aereo — the once-promising live TV streaming service — was gutted by a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling has already been picked apart in bankruptcy auctions, it still had to face the copyright infringement claims from the broadcasters who alleged Aereo was stealing their signals. What remains of Aereo has now agreed to pay about a penny on the dollar to resolve the nearly $100 million in claims. [More]

AT&T, Verizon Responses To Campaign To End Robocalls Unsurprisingly Empty And Noncommittal

AT&T, Verizon Responses To Campaign To End Robocalls Unsurprisingly Empty And Noncommittal

If there’s one thing consumers can agree on… well, it’s probably that they don’t like Comcast. But if there are two things that consumers can agree on, it’s that and also that robocalls suck. The tech to block robocalls is out there, but phone companies don’t use it. And their excuses for not doing so aren’t getting any better. [More]

HBO Now International Users Subscribing With IP Runarounds Getting The Boot

HBO Now International Users Subscribing With IP Runarounds Getting The Boot

While fans of HBO who didn’t want to sign up for a cable package to get every titillating, skin-baring moment on Game of Thrones (so basically, any given moment in the show) have been rejoicing over HBO Now, anyone outside the United States was left outside in the rain… that is, unless, they got around that inconvenience using VPNs or other ways to mask their IP addresses. Those international users are now getting the heave-ho from HBO. [More]

(Robert Walker)

Verizon’s ESPN-Not-Included FiOS Base Package Violates Contract, Says Sports Network

Last week, Verizon announced a new way to purchase its FiOS pay-TV service: Pay as little as $55/month for a core package of basic channels and then add on niche-targeted bundles of 10-17 channels each for an additional charge. One of the biggest differences between this model and the standard basic/premiumc cable offerings is that ESPN — the most expensive basic cable channel — was not included in the core package. The folks at the Disney-owned sports network say Verizon may be not be allowed. [More]

Comcast Bringing Super-Fast Fiber Network To Silicon Valley & Other California Markets

Comcast Bringing Super-Fast Fiber Network To Silicon Valley & Other California Markets

Two weeks after Comcast announced that Atlanta would be the first market to get its new Gigabit Pro fiber service — which promises speeds of up to twice that of Google Fiber — the company is now saying it will bring the high-speed broadband to several markets in California where it already offers service. [More]

(Eric Norris)

Chinese Luxury Car Buyers Shop The Very Unglamorous Gray Market

Here at Consumerist, we’re fascinated with the global gray market: the system of parallel imports that gives us Omega watches from Paraguay at Costco and a pirate Trader Joe’s store in Canada. There are even bigger things that trade on the gray market, though: in Shanghai, there’s a place where luxury car buyers can save money by purchasing cars that haven’t been imported through official channels. [More]

Group Of Doctors Want Dr. Oz Removed From Columbia Medical Faculty For Promoting “Quack Treatments”

Group Of Doctors Want Dr. Oz Removed From Columbia Medical Faculty For Promoting “Quack Treatments”

Citing what they call repeated “disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine,” a group of physicians has written a letter to Columbia University asking it to remove TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz from his faculty position there. [More]

Verizon FiOS To Offer More Flexible Channel Bundles

Verizon FiOS To Offer More Flexible Channel Bundles

While some still hold out hope for the pipe dream of a true a la carte pay-TV option where the customer only pays for the channels they want (but at a price that isn’t outrageous), pressure from new streaming services appears to be nudging at least one major cable provider to offer a more flexible plan to subscribers. [More]