I hate to find myself on the same side of -any- issue as Charlie Ergen (I'd hate to even be on the same side of the -street- as Charlie Ergen) but I have to be on the same side here.
I'm as wildly in favor of capitalism and free markets as the next guy, but this isn't that. The cable system monopolies in the US do -not- represent free enterprise or free markets. They are government franchised, regulated monopolies. In return for their license to print money, granted to them by local, state and Federal agencies, they do not get to exercise all the freedoms we grant competitive enterprises. Because they are shielded from competition by their monopoly franchise agreements.
Only if Comcast were willing to divest everything but the last mile of cable (everything includes Universal Studios, NBC, MSNBC, E! Networks, USA Networks, Bravo, Comcast Sports Network, and all of it's ISP activities) would I even listen to a pitch to allow them to merge with Time Warner Cable. Separating the last mile of infrastructure from -everything- else is how it's done in other countries, AND IT WORKS. Better pricing, better performance, better technology, better service, better offerings.
We cannot allow Comcast to own and operate telecommunications in America, and we cannot allow them to impose their taxes on us for the privilege. They will create artificial scarcity, put competitors out of business, and raise prices in the process. It stinks. Charlie Ergen stinks too, but he's right here...