back to article FCC puts AT&T and Comcast gobbles back on the table

The FCC has restarted the approval process for a pair of high-profile proposed mergers – Comcast-Time Warner Cable, and AT&T-DirecTV. The US watchdog said it has officially set two deadlines for folks sending in their views on the biz gobbles. In the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable (TWC) tie-up, citizens will have until …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    I'm looking forward to the Comcast/Time-Warner merger....

    But then I have a weakness for stories featuring a dystopian future where people scurry like mice for cover from a heartless mega-corporation that has the power to control the very perception of reality.

    Maybe Comcast/Time Warner will start featuring "Rollerball Night in America" on channel 1. Required viewing for all citizens!!

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: "Rollerball Night in America"

      but only if the game is based on the 1975 original movie, not the shit 2002 redo.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Devil

        Re: "Rollerball Night in America"

        Knowing Comcast and hearing what I hear about Time Warner Cable, I expect that they would promise the game based on the 1975 original, and then deliver the 2002 remake :)

        (Viewing will still be mandatory though!)

  2. Sureo

    I hope they realize what a really bad idea these mergers are. In Canada we have two highly vertically integrated companies that control almost everything - production, distribution, TV/radio stations, cable distribution, mobile networks. Aided and abetted by the national regulator. It's expensive, there's little real choice, and much of the content is appalling.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Credit where it's due, however. The CRTC did ultimately block the Telus/Bell merger. We aren't as far gone as those to the south. Yet.

  3. Number6

    Resale

    While not saying it should go ahead or not, if the FCC do approve the Comcast/TWC merger, they ought to require a separation of retail and wholesale, along the lines of what happened to BT in the UK. Added to this, the wholesale side should be required to sell broadband access to independent ISPs, again in the manner of BT. They should be required to provide what they sell, so a 50Mbit pipe should be capable of delivering 50Mbit from the ISP's end point to the subscriber and not slow down at peak times due to congestion on the Comcast network. Obviously if the ISP has crap throughput then that's between the ISP and its customers. A regulator with a big stick should oversee all of this to make sure that faults don't mysteriously affect only non-Comcast customers.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Resale

      You are being too rational. You're forgetting about the way things work here in the States.. There's lobbyists, money, sweetheart deals, backstabbing deals and good-ol-boy politics. Oh.. did I mention lobbyists and money? Rationality falls by the wayside in the face of all this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Resale

        @Mark 85

        Your analysis of the marketplace is incomplete. You should have mentioned lobbyists and money at least 2-3 more times!

  4. Cipher
    FAIL

    Do not compete?

    That is exactly the problem, the US needs broadband competition desperately.

    I have TWC, the countries second worst rated ISP. A merger with the nation's #1 worst ISP? Yeah, things will get better...

    Rather than a merger, these two should fight for customers, let's see how that works out...

  5. PunkTiger
    Facepalm

    This entire thing smacks of a classic way to push through unpopular legislation. A hot-button item is put up for action, there's a groundswell of reaction against the move, then it's put aside for "further review." Once things cool down, they bring it back onto the table for action. If there's another groundswell of reaction against it, they'll take it back off the table again for "further review." When things cool down again, they very quietly put it back on the table, find the negative reaction is not as strong as before, and because this supposed lack of complaining seems to resemble public acceptance (in their own minds), the legislation will pass, leaving the rest of us to deal with the consequences.

    I know I sound cynical, but I've seen this happen before. I just really, really hope I'm proven wrong this time.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Complete Insanity

    That's what it would be if the FCC were to approve either merger. If you're in the U.S. you had better speak now of suffer for eternity.

    Just to get a reference point on how Comcast and other cable/phone companies operate, check the FCC and FTC conviction files for these companies. It should be an eye opener for anyone in doubt.

    http://www.ftc.gov/

    http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cases/2009/04/090416comcastcmpt.pdf

    http://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cases/2009/04/090416comcaststipjdgmt.pdf

    And just to add more reasons why U.S. residents should oppose these mergers and file complaints with both the FTC and FCC... how many folks know that Comcast has been illegally blocking international e-mail sent to U.S. subscribers since 2013? That's right Comcast is illegally blocking legitimate international e-mail from friends, family businesses etc. sent to U.S. Comcast subscribers. You didn't hear anything about this on the Comcast, did you? That's because it's illegal and documented. Now it's up to the FTC and FCC to prosecute Comcast for their crimes. Filing a complaint at the FTC and FCC website regarding Comcast's illegal blockage of legitimate international e-mail to U.S. subscribers will help convict these criminals and resolve one of the many problems unscrupulous management initiates.

    https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form2000.action?form_type=2000A

    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

    If you don't speak up when asked you are doomed to suffer for your apathy.

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