Forbes reported that “it is official.” Comcast plans to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC). The deal is expected to merge in a $45 billion deal between the top two cable operators in the nation, respectively. FCC placed a hard-stop on proceedings and company officials are requested to gather and submit missing information that has been request for some time.
Regulatory review delays are due to additional information not received by the FCC to complete its assessment on the merger and claims of operations made by Comcast and TWC. Typically, the FCC can make a ruling within its 180 days window on whether to approve or decline merger filings.
Many believe that the review will be in favor of Comcast, but as recent proceedings have stopped short, they now have only 85 days left to render a decision, the tides may shift. Comcast finally submitted a 1000-page document late on Tuesday to the FCC. The FCC filing review is scheduled to convene on October 29th.
The merger was publicly announced in February. The delay may be the break needed for opponents to rally opposition.
NY Times reported that the deal could possibly reshape the nation’s video and broadband markets. If approval is granted, it would allow Comcast to own 30-35 percent of the Internet and TV media industry, which also includes having control over 16 of the 20 television markets.
Protesters say that the merger has no concern for the industry. According to the NY Times, many feel that the merger is ‘extortion’ and that it fosters an anti-competitive market that will push around Internet and Television Networks. Philly reports that protesters are scheduled to deliver thousands of petitions in opposition to the merger.
Many media and technology companies are also asking the FCC to block or add conditions to the deal. Those in opposition include Discovery Communications, Netflix, and Dish Network, the satellite provider. NY Times reports that companies that are not speaking on the merge of Comcast and its $45 billion deal are expected to be working on their own back-end consolidation and merge efforts. AT&T is working on a merge deal with DirectTV.
Consumerism reported that the merger does harm to the industry, which includes killing competition, preventing innovation, and limiting media diversity. The FCC stated that the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast has not resulted in an increase, so currently there are not signs that the TWC merger will either.
Comcast disclosed that the merger will not result in fewer services, neither will the two companies compete for geographical areas. The largest cable provider in the nation said that the merger would improve video and broadband services to millions and should offer additional services in the future.
Unlike media and technology companies, protesters do not want conditions, they want action. Their goal is to stop the merger of two of the largest cable companies. Based on data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Comcast has the second worst customer service in the industry. Time Warner Cable has the best.
The Motley Fool reported that the company wants to improve its extremely low consumer satisfaction rating. Many customers have complained and the merger with Time Warner Cable is not the answer. For now, the public will have to wait to see if the expected merge with Comcast will remain on hold or if it can proceed with its paramount $45 billion deal.
By Carolette Wright