(Great Beyond)

Court Bars FCC From Diclosing How Much Comcast, DirecTV Pay Broadcasters

Last week’s last-minute legal battle between just about every major TV broadcaster and the FCC came to quietly disappointing conclusion this morning, with a federal appeals court refusing to allow the government to share confidential details about the mergers of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and DirecTV and AT&T. [More]

Charter Ready To Woo Time Warner Cable Again If Comcast Fails

Charter Ready To Woo Time Warner Cable Again If Comcast Fails

Not even a year ago, Time Warner Cable was spurning the romantic advances of Charter Communications and its $37.3 billion offer of wedded bliss, all because it knew that Comcast was waiting in the wings with a more expensive proposal. But in case the Comcast/TWC marriage fails to get the blessing of federal regulators, Charter’s billionaire backer says he’s ready to be Time Warner Cable’s rebound relationship. [More]

(Mark Amsterdam)

Broadcasters Get Court To Stop Consumers From Seeing How Much Cable Companies Pay For Content

The FCC is currently mulling over whether to give its stamp of approval to two huge mergers — Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV — and is intending to make information available to third parties about the deals that that these pay-TV giants make with broadcasters. But even though you and every other cable subscriber wants to know exactly how much Comcast pays for access to channels like ESPN, MTV, and the major networks, the broadcasters want that info kept under lock and key — and they’ve asked the court to stop it from possibly going public. [More]

(Mr. Nixter)

Time Warner Wants $20,000 To Connect Rural Customer To Broadband

Ten years ago, a man in central New York decided to build a house in a rural area. This seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, but broadband Internet wasn’t as crucial to modern life then as it is now. There are Time Warner Cable lines in the small town of Pompey, southeast of Syracuse, a third of a mile from his house, but Time Warner says that it would cost more than $20,000 to connect him. [More]

(Xavier J. Peg)

NYC Mayor Raises Concerns About Comcast/TWC Merger

While 52 other mayors from around the country were recently reminded that Comcast is an important contributor to election campaigns, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City has been busy warning the FCC that the pending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable is fraught with potential problems. [More]

NY Pols Want Free Broadband For Public Housing, WiFi For Parks If Comcast Deal Approved

NY Pols Want Free Broadband For Public Housing, WiFi For Parks If Comcast Deal Approved

Usually by this point in the review process of a mega-merger like the one pending between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, there are discussions about things the parties are willing to do or give up in order to make the deal more palatable to critics. But because Comcast and TWC proactively offered to spin off some 3 million customers, and because Comcast already made a bunch of promises and concessions when it acquired NBC back in 2010, there hasn’t been much chatter. But some folks in New York are making known their demands for signing off on the deal. [More]

via the Measurement Lab Interconnection Study

Study Finds Internet Congestion Really Is About Business, Not Technology

Various enormous corporations have this year been at each other’s throats over how well or how poorly internet traffic travels through their systems. A new report indicates that some of the mud-slinging this year is true: interconnection, or peering, between ISPs is why end-users are getting terrible internet traffic. But, they say, it’s business, and not technology, that’s making your Netflix buffer. [More]

Yet Another City Moves To Block Comcast From Taking Over Their TWC Service

Yet Another City Moves To Block Comcast From Taking Over Their TWC Service

Comcast’s plans to buy Time Warner Cable are obviously heavily under review at the federal level, and states are reviewing the merger plans with a gimlet eye as well. But thanks to the quirks of the way cable agreements developed, the cities that cable companies serve have the power to allow or block new companies from coming in and taking over. And a city in Kentucky this week became the latest potentially to throw a wrench in the grand Comcast/Time Warner Cable/Charter plan by doing just that. [More]

Antitrust Experts To FCC: Comcast/TWC Merger Is A Terrible Idea

Antitrust Experts To FCC: Comcast/TWC Merger Is A Terrible Idea

A group of antitrust experts spanning the country, from Harvard to Stanford and plenty of places in between, has asked the FCC to block the Comcast and Time Warner Cable union. In a letter, the experts urge the FCC to act to to “protect competition and consumers” by preventing the merger before it happens. [More]

(Great Beyond)

FCC Pauses Review Of Both Media Mega-Mergers Because Content Companies Won’t Share Confidential Info

The slowly-turning wheel of the approvals process for two big media mergers has temporarily ground to a halt, as the FCC today announced delays in their reviews of both AT&T’s planned acquisition of DirecTV and also the Comcast/Time Warner Cable union. The delays in both proceedings stem from the same core issue: media content companies who don’t want their rivals to learn their secrets. [More]

Justice Dept. Digging Deep “In The Weeds” Of Broadband Issues In Comcast/TWC Merger

Justice Dept. Digging Deep “In The Weeds” Of Broadband Issues In Comcast/TWC Merger

Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been making the case for their merger nearly all year. The two companies talk up their TV programming sides a lot, but most watchers know that the merger — and the future — are really all about broadband, and that market is what Comcast is poised to control on a national scale. That potential dominance has worried not only businesses and consumer advocates, but also has apparently attracted the attention of the Justice Department as well. [More]

(Mike Cook Foto)

The Future Will Be Online TV, But That Might Come With Online Blackouts

It’s been a heck of a week for anyone who’s been waiting for all their TV to go online. HBO, CBS, and Univision have all announced online streaming subscription packages this week, which is big news for consumers. But the future, while different, may not be rosy. You can’t watch streaming video without internet access, after all. So what happens to your show when your TV network and your ISP get mad at each other? [More]

Another City Wants To Stop Comcast From Taking Over Cable Service

(Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

Weeks after city leaders in Lexington, KY, made it clear that they are not pleased about the promise of being passed around like a hot potato from Time Warner Cable to Comcast to Charter, the City Council of Worcester, MA, is also laying out the unwelcome mat for Comcast. [More]

(Keith Reed)

Blaming TWC’s Poor Service, City May Deny Transfer Of Cable To Comcast

Two years ago, the people of Lexington, KY, became Time Warner Cable customers when the company acquired Insight Communications. Now TWC is being bought by Comcast, meaning Lexington residents would be switched again. But it gets more complicated, as Lexington is one of the markets that Comcast would then hand over to Charter. Four different cable companies in fewer than five years has members of the Lexington city council saying “no more.” [More]

Consumer Advocates Urge Justice Dept. To Block Comcast/TWC Merger

Consumer Advocates Urge Justice Dept. To Block Comcast/TWC Merger

The FCC isn’t the only agency reviewing the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger; the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is all over it, too. And while the full public doesn’t get to have its riotous say with the DoJ the same way we did with the FCC, businesses and consumer advocates can file in opposition (or support). Our colleagues down the hall at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, have now officially chimed in to ask the DoJ to watch out for the interests of consumers, and block the merger. [More]

Comcast/TWC Merger Critics: “Comcast Owes Us An Apology” for “Extortion” Comments

Comcast/TWC Merger Critics: “Comcast Owes Us An Apology” for “Extortion” Comments

Comcast had some harsh words this week for critics of their plan to acquire Time Warner Cable. They accused advocacy groups and businesses that have legitimate concerns about the massive transaction of crying wolf with “unfounded,” “unsupported,” and “extortionate” claims. However, Comcast’s attempt to discredit its critics into silence appears to be having the opposite effect, as both corporations and nonprofit groups are firing back loudly. [More]

Comcast: Opposition To TWC Merger Is Just “Extortion”

Comcast: Opposition To TWC Merger Is Just “Extortion”

UPDATE: Some groups are now calling on Comcast to apologize for the “extortion” allegation, with former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps saying that “Comcast’s suggestion that we’ve offered to withdraw our opposition in return for favors from the company is absolutely unfounded and untrue.” [More]

Comcast Keeps Claiming Competition Abounds, Despite Mountains Of Evidence From Planet Reality

Comcast Keeps Claiming Competition Abounds, Despite Mountains Of Evidence From Planet Reality

In August, as part of the merger oversight process, the FCC asked Comcast and Time Warner Cable for more information about their operations and their plans. In answer, Comcast has submitted 735 pages of documentation. That’s a lot of information, but Comcast’s responses have one key theme: the Comcast/TWC merger will not harm competition, because broadband competition is plentiful… no matter what the rest of us, including the FCC, seem to think. [More]