Comcast has been trying to sell its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable by promising all sorts of benefits for consumers. But a new public opinion survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows that the public isn’t falling for the cable giant’s empty promises.
According to the poll, only 11 percent of the public supports the merger, while 56 percent are opposed. The remaining respondents had no opinion, which is understandable since most people don’t have time to follow complicated mergers like this one.
Even so, we’re not surprised that the majority of Americans are against the merger given the overwhelming response we’ve gotten to our campaign to defeat the deal. Over 400,000 people have already signed on to petitions calling on the FCC and Justice Department to stop it.
We already know that both Comcast and Time Warner Cable score poorly when it comes to customer satisfaction. Most people believe that combining these two poor-performing companies will make things go from bad to worse, according to the Consumer Reports poll. Three quarters of the American public feel that the merger will result in higher prices and fewer choices in Internet and cable TV providers for consumers. Fifty-four percent expect customer satisfaction to get worse if the merger is approved.
By contrast, consumers are very skeptical of the benefits Comcast is touting if the merger is allowed. Only 16 percent believe the merger will result in lower prices for consumers by allowing Comcast to operate more efficiently and lower its costs. Just one-third of respondents agreed that the merger would allow the companies to deliver more innovative products and services for customers.
Comcast doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to delivering on its promises and the public clearly doesn’t expect the company to live up to its latest pledges. Most people recognize that combining two companies with lousy reputations won’t exactly make things any better. It will just make things worse.