Back in February of 2014, Comcast had made a deal to take over Time Warner Cable. The deal was estimated at $45 million as stated in The New York Times. This deal would have combined two of the country’s largest cable companies and broadband providers. This merger was considered unwelcome by the public due to the possibility of a monopoly being formed. The merger would have given Comcast a national platform that could have forced people to pay outrageous prices for services simply because there would have been hardly any competition. The New York Times added that Comcast stated that you could pay only for the channels that you wanted and nothing more. However, the public was in disbelief.
After the public outrage, the FCC became involved forcing Comcast to pull the plug on the impending deal. The Huffington Post mentioned that the public felt that this deal would have posed a huge risk to competition and innovation, so the company felt that it was in its best interest to move on beyond the deal. The merger would have allowed Comcast to dominate over 50 percent of the cable and internet market and viewers were just not comfortable with this.
It was also believed that online video providers would have been blocked in terms of reaching and serving the public. An article for ABC News said that there was major protesting against the possibility of higher prices and less choice and politicians, consumers, and competitors were leading the protest. The individuals felt that the risk was just too great and that they could not get behind such a deal. All of these obstacles made Comcast have no choice but to end the potential merger that had been in the works for awhile.
This failed merger is yet another disastrous attempt by the company to earn revenue. Comcast recently lost an opportunity to earn major profits by throttling website speeds if the website owner paid more money, as stated by The Huffington Post. Net neutrality laws were put into place and throttling speeds up or down is now considered to be illegal as specified by the FCC.
Fortunately for the company, no fee is owed to Time Warner Cable due to the fact that the FCC put a stop to the deal before it went through. Comcast had no input in terms of the deal being shut down, it was generally out of their hands as the FCC interfered. The Huffington Post added that the ending of the merger was the best outcome for consumers. Despite the merger no longer being in the works, Comcast is still hard to beat in terms of overall numbers. Time Warner is now even attempting to merge with other companies after the failure of the deal. Time Warner Cable seems to be on the losing end of the deal in that a merger with other companies would still not match or top Comcast’s number of video subscribers and internet users. It alone has over 22 million video subscribers and 22 million people who use their internet service, as stated by ABC News.
An article for Yahoo Finance said that Comcast could never prove how the merger would be beneficial for anyone or any other company other than Comcast. The CEO and chairman of Comcast, Brian Roberts, said that the company would have liked to expand and move their products to new places but unfortunately it was not in the cards. He also said that he is proud of the company and is looking forward to new ventures and what the future holds. He also said that he always knew that if the government did not approve of the deal in some way that they would not be able to carry it through. This had been decided even before the initial stages of the merger. He went on to add that even though the merger is no longer in the works, he is optimistic and open to new prospects.
By Heather Granruth