Consumers rally against Comcast’s mega merger at shareholder meeting
By Michael McCauley on Friday, May 23rd, 2014
Comcast may have an army of lobbyists on their side as they push their mega merger in Washington, but we’ve got the people!
That’s the message we sent loud and clear at the Comcast shareholder meeting earlier this week in Philadelphia. While investors were meeting inside, we held a People’s Vote on the merger outside to let Comcast know that consumers are overwhelmingly against this proposed deal.
About 100 activists and local residents turned out to make their voices heard. Like so many other consumers around the country, the folks who came to the rally are fed up with sky high bills and poor customer service for cable and Internet. And they understand that joining two giant companies with such bad track records like Comcast and Time Warner Cable will make things go from bad to worse.
As Consumers Union’s Delara Derakhshani noted at a news conference at the rally, “So here you have an industry with a notorious reputation for lousy service and price hikes. And now Comcast and Time Warner, two of the lowest-rated companies, actually want to merge and become even bigger and more powerful. This is a bad deal for consumers.”
That message was echoed in full page ads that Consumers Union took out that day in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Politico and Roll Call newspapers in Washington, D.C. The headline read: “Comcast’s Gain: Our Pain” and warned how the merger will mean higher prices, fewer choices, and even worse customer service. We even had a giant mobile billboard with that same message parked in front of the shareholder meeting and later circling Comcast’s corporate headquarters and the downtown area for the rest of the afternoon.
Towards the end of the rally, we collected votes from the crowd and combined them with over 400,000 petition signatures opposing the merger we had collected with other groups and marched them inside the shareholders meeting to present to Comcast representatives.
Our rally at the shareholders meeting is just the beginning of a bigger campaign to stop the merger. Help keep the momentum going by sharing our video of the rally and signing our petition to the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department to block the merger.
We can stop this merger if enough people join us and keep up the pressure!