back to article Thought the AT&T Time-Warner tie-up was scary? Comcast says 'hold my beer'

With the massive $85bn merger between AT&T and Time Warner set to finalize, a newly-emboldened Comcast is pushing for a media mega-deal of its own. The US cable kingpin officially made its offer on Wednesday to acquire 21st Century Fox in an all-cash deal worth $65bn. The deal would give Comcast all outstanding shares in 21st …

  1. Curly4

    This case should be of interests to not only American citizens but also to the citizens of western Europe. This merger is the first of many other mergers which will see just a few mega corporations controlling every facet of our lives. Information is the lifeblood of then modern world and these mega corporations will control all the information. But these mega corporations will also control other things such as foods, transportation and every other aspect of our lives. By controlling the information they will only allow the information get out that will they want to get out and that informs only the thing that they want to be know, false or true will matter less than get the information out that they want to further their won aims.

    This will also extend to the politics. If a politician who is opposed to these mega corporations, especially in media, tries to get out his or her position on a matter just far do you think that will go? Not very far. Also this will limit persons ability to work and earn a living if they oppose these corps. IN other words each person would be a slave to the mega corps allow to live as long as they toe the line that these mega corps espews.

    Readers take this to heart if this continues we all will be just automatons jumping to the strings that these corporations pull

    1. Mark 85

      Here in the States, since there isn't choice in broadband services. The majors had already cut things up into nice chunks for themselves. Now they're sucking up the content providers. This will lead to fragmented content such that if you want content from Company A and it's owned by a provider other than your own, you will be out of luck.

      And yes, there will be political lines drawn that will only favor what the providers want you see. Same for news, etc.

      We have been basically owned by the local broadband services with no choice or miserable options for a long time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's the mega-merger time of monetary bubble capitalism

      So, like a "21st-century democratic state", only with a balance sheet?

      Maybe but these corps will also be a sea of mismanagement and dysfunction as well as a source of self-regenerating lard for consultancy vultures. In the end they will croak on their own mass and fall apart again. Sure, a fat part of your pension scheme will disappear into the toxic morass, but thats the way it goes.

      It will be fun watching Best Korea worm through the newly merged IT infrastructure.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      This merger is the first of many other mergers which will see just a few mega corporations controlling every facet of our lives.

      Er... I can think of some facets that will remain unaffected by this sort of merger, unless Comcast are going to buy, say, Kohler and Georgia Paper too.

      I'm no fan of the ATT+TW or Comcrap+Faux mergers, but I think it's a little soon to declare the sky is falling. Even in the realm of broadcast entertainment I have no trouble finding competing content providers. And (hypothetical) attempts by "mega corporations" to use their ISP services to favor their own content streams wouldn't materially affect my life; if I can't get broadcast entertainment I want, I'll do without. There are plenty of other entertainment sources I'm far more interested in.

      (I don't bother with broadcast news. Synchronous media is expensive, in terms of opportunity cost - its information rate is miserable compared to reading. Since the quality of broadcast news appears to be quite low, it's simply not valuable enough to watch.)

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    End of an era?

    Does this mean that brave little avant-garde Fox will come under the jackboot of an oppressive corporate master?

  3. Mayday Silver badge

    In other news

    Comcast subsequently acquires Lockheed Martin and renames itself to Weyland-Yutani Corporation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In other news

      That'd never be allowed, the current POTUS hates Aliens*!

      *Illegal ones, anyway. And probably Aliens 3.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This shouldn't be approved

    Because Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal was allowed, it could be argued that AT&T's purchase of Time Warner couldn't be rejected. After all, it was basically the same thing - a cable/satellite provider purchasing a content company.

    If this purchase goes through Comcast will own TWO major content companies, which would of course allow AT&T to try to purchase more. Kind of surprised Dish or Spectrum haven't been sniffing around Disney trying to get bought and create a third vertical competitor.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: This shouldn't be approved

      I agree with your point that Comcast is overreaching.

      However, it wasn't that long ago that broadcasters -- over the air, before wire-/fiber-based distribution -- were vertically integrated. The example I keep thinking of (I am sure there are others) is how NBC created content and broadcast it to be received by RCA radios. Granted, that same radio could access other feeds, but NBC/RCA still had all levels covered to some extent. I also can't remember how long the relationship lasted -- if they made it to TV before fully splitting. (And I'm too "lazy Yankee" to bother looking right now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This shouldn't be approved

        But there was no advantage to NBC and RCA being in the same company, it would be impossible for them to shut out other radio makers from NBC programming or to make NBC content cheaper when listened to on RCA radios. Not so with Comcast/Disney, the vertical integration has a lot of potential negative consequences - only the government could stop them from e.g. ESPN exclusives on Comcast alone.

  5. EnviableOne

    Last seen looking down the back of the sofa

    Looks like mickey needs to raid the lucas film merchandising fund and up their offer.

    Not sure who I'd rather have the controlling stake in SKY?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Last seen looking down the back of the sofa

      I can't speak about Disney but as a Comcast customer I can say you don't want Comcast.

      1. Mike 16

        Re: Last seen looking down the back of the sofa

        Disney already owns ABC, which was spun out of NBC way back when as part of an anti-trust action. ABC leans left, sometimes obviously so, making for "popcorn time" when/if Fox crawls into the same tent.

        As a fellow Comcast victim, I agree, Disney may occasionally do stuff like claiming to own fairy tales from before Walt's grandparents were born, and killing off Bambi's mom, but there is absolutely no comparison to the evil that is Comcast.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Last seen looking down the back of the sofa

          ABC leans left, sometimes obviously so, making for "popcorn time" when/if Fox crawls into the same tent.

          Why? If I were wheezing through my face mask and dealing evil to the universe, then I'd want to control important channels appealing to all parts of the political spectrum. Leave the ABC and Fox channel management to do what they want, with the proviso of keeping the money flowing. If one channel claims that black is white, and the other that white is black, it matters not a jot when all that matters to the board is making more money.

          The big problem here is that unlike AT&T/TW, this is a straightforward acquisition, meaning that there will be a huge acquisition premium, that'll then go on the balance sheet as goodwill, and customer bills have to go up to pay for it. The premium over Disney's offer is around $13bn - and because that's all "goodwill", that's $13bn to be recovered through customer price rises, on top of probably a similar amount Disney had promised. So around $26bn to be reamed out from customers who have no say in the matter.

  6. JeffyPoooh

    "Content was King."

    "Content is King" no longer.

    Apparently stringing cables along poles is now 'King'.

    I *TOLD* (<- in a high pitched voice) you that Cable TV and Telephone rates were too high. Now they've got all the money in the world and can buy things that even Bezos couldn't quite afford.

    Governments should not *sell* monopolies to companies that run Cable/Twisted Pair/Fibre along public property. They should lease them. Keep ahold of the leash. Same thing applies to Spectrum.

  7. Alistair Silver badge

    There are some interesting charts out there

    I think there are something like 12 global corporate entities that essentially cover all the food production, distribution, packaging, and sales operations

    And we seem to be looking at having 6 or 8 corporate entities around the globe that will essentially cover all the media production distribution, packaging and sales operations.

    And soon enough we will have 4 or 5 global corporate entities around the globe that will essentially cover all the government production, distribution packaging and sales operations.

    "First they came for ....."

    Fuck, where's my isolated private island in the south pacific again? I keep loosing the #$%@#% keys......

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