Thursday, October 30, 2014
Merger Will Allow Comcast to Dominate the Market, Leading to
Higher Prices, Fewer Choices And Worse Customer Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new Halloween-themed ad appearing in Communications Daily today by Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, features Comcast as a Godzilla-like cable monster that will stomp on consumers if its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable isn’t stopped by federal regulators.
The ad has the look of a 1950s-style monster movie poster and warns that the merger will give Comcast control over nearly half of the truly high speed broadband market and almost 60 percent of the cable TV market. That will lead to high prices, fewer choices, and even worse customer service for consumers, according to Consumers Union.
“Our ad offers a tongue-in cheek take on the merger, but consumers have reason to be scared if this deal isn’t stopped by federal regulators,” said Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “Comcast has already devoured a huge share of the cable TV and broadband markets plus NBC Universal, but now it wants even more power. If this mega merger is allowed, consumers can expect to pay more, have fewer choices, and be stuck with the same lousy customer service these companies are notorious for delivering.”
Consumers Union has urged federal regulators to block the merger. In filings made with the FCC and Justice Department, the group has detailed how the merger would give Comcast enormous power to raise prices, limit choices, and stifle competition. Consumers Union and other critics of the merger have warned that Comcast would become, in effect, a national gatekeeper for the Internet. This is particularly troubling at a time when the FCC is considering new net neutrality rules that would allow companies like Comcast to play favorites among web sites and services, and to control the quality, speed, and availability of programming that reaches consumers.
Contact: David Butler, dbutler at consumer.org, 202-462-6262 or Michael McCauley, mmccauley at consumer.org, 415-902-9537 (cell)
415-431-6747, ext 126 (office)