After much anticipation, Comcast finally filed its formal paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission in support of its merger with Time Warner Cable. Of course, the proposed $45 billion deal isn’t exactly being greeted with cheers from most consumers.
That’s because both companies are already at the back of the pack when it comes to customer satisfaction. Why should consumers have any confidence that it’s a good idea to combine the number one and number two cable companies that have such bad track records for customer service and value?
Consumers Union has been opposed to the merger since it was first announced back in February. And we’re in good company. Over 50 organizations signed on to a letter sent today to the FCC and Department of Justice urging the agencies to block the merger.
So many organizations and consumers are coming out against the merger because it would give Comcast enormous control over the cable and broadband Internet markets. If the merger is approved, Comcast would end up with two-thirds of all cable TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of the broadband Internet market.
Add on top of that all the programming Comcast owns as a result of its previous merger with NBC Universal, and you would have a company with the ability to control the speed, quality, and type of programming for an unprecedented number of consumers.
But you’d never know that by reading Comcast’s filing with the FCC today. Instead, the company makes itself out like it’s the little guy doing its best to keep up with all the growing competition. But a closer look at Comcast’s claims makes it clear that the market is already suffering from too little real competition and the merger will just make things worse.
It could be just a coincidence, but Comcast’s filing with the FCC came on the same day it was awarded the “Worst Company in America” title by Consumerist. That should come as no surprise to countless Comcast customers who have grown so frustrated with the company. Let’s hope the FCC and Department of Justice are listening.