back to article Dish Network to FCC: Block that Comcast/Time Warner merger

US satellite TV provider Dish Network has asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and it's none too happy about AT&T's pending acquisition of DirecTV, either. The company's position was made known on Wednesday in a mandatory filing with the FCC summarizing …

  1. Cipher
    Stop

    Not looking forward to TW/Comcast meger...

    As a TW user, service is mediocre to good, you have to stay ontop of them constantly to get them to provide what they advertise. Comcast, I understand is far worse. I don't see this as improving the lot of the user in any way.

    1. User McUser

      Holy Crap, I'm about to defend Comcast...

      FWIW, I've had good experience with Comcast's support folk; so far each time I've called they took me seriously and nobody forced me to walk through the "unplug everything then connect them in order" script. They listened to my complaints, asked a few technical questions, and then (and this is what surprised me) SOLVED MY ISSUES right then and there. The CSR had direct access to the device logs for my connection and actually understood the issue at hand and had a solution. So far I'm 3 for 3 with support calls being quickly and correctly resolved over the last ~4 years.

      YMMV, natch.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Some smoke and some non-smoke

    First the smoke: Dish says the combined company would have a greater incentive to exercise its control of internet "choke points" to undermine its competitors' streaming video services. Dish is a satellite firm with delivery of signal via satellite to a customer's antenna. How will this really affect them?

    Non-Smoke: Dish also believes the huge size of Comcast and Time Warner combined would allow it to negotiate cheaper rates from TV content providers – who would then try to charge higher rates to competitors like Dish, to make up for lost revenue. The merged company could even pressure programmers to offer it exclusives, shutting out competitors altogether, the filing claims. Aha... bottom line is where all this is coming from.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some smoke and some non-smoke

      Supposedly Dish was negotiating with Directv about a merger but Directv ended up getting bought by AT&T. Had Dish and Directv come to an agreement, I'm 100% sure Ergen would have said nothing about how terrible the Comcast/TWC merger was, because he'd be wanting to merge himself. But now that there's no one to merge with, mergers are a bad thing because it gives too much power to the combined company.

      Of note, the number of customers for the combined Comcast/TWC would be slightly less than the number of customers for a combined Directv/Dish.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Some smoke and some non-smoke

        @DougS

        That Dish are being hypocritical doesn't mean they're wrong about the potential consequences of such a merger!

      2. Uncle Ron

        Re: Some smoke and some non-smoke

        No one has been "bought" by anyone yet. The Comcast deal is by no means done, the AT&T deal is by no means done. Neither of these deals is in the best interest of the consumer, and as publicly regulated monopolies, both Comcast and AT&T (as opposed to just private companies) have to answer to regulators as to the benefits to the public of their grabs. Since there is NO benefit to the consumer (just the opposite) the deals should both be denied.

        These companies don't get to operate as competitive, free enterprise players, because they are shielded from competition by their monopoly franchise agreements. They get to be regulated in return for their license to print money. That regulation must include denial of these mergers as there is no benefit. Just more price gouging. If they are allowed to do this, the regulators and legislators are truly corrupt.

  3. Hellcatm

    "Similar complaints have been voiced by Netflix, which has previously accused broadband providers AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon of intentionally throttling its traffic – a charge that Verizon, at least, vigorously denies. Netflix has also made public its opposition to the Comcast/Time Warner merger."

    I just love companies deny what they are said to have done. What are they going to do say "yes we are intentionally throttling customers? Like we don't know that Verizon along with Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and others are throttling customers, all the wireless companies are doing the same and they deny it as well.

  4. Uncle Ron

    Ergen

    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...

  5. lambda_beta
    Linux

    Not only Comcast

    This also involves Charter , as well as Comcast. They will team up to re-map their territories in the US and ceate another comapny which they'll jointly own. Truly a monopoly!

  6. fishbone
    WTF?

    Hard to be neutral in a fixed contest of wills so I won't be. Go ahead and merge just allow me to reap some benefits from it bill wise selection of content providers wise and economy of scale wise. Sadly living most of my sixty years in America has taught me that won't happen, that the best players in the game will prevail and that more dung will be flung at any and all that oppose the insider placed regulators making another non consumer friendly decision.

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