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Ear to the Ground

The Making of a Monster Merger: Comcast-TWC Edition

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Posted on Feb 13, 2014

[CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] flickr

Comcast has proposed a $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable that could create a corporate beast of disastrous proportions. The deal would grant Comcast, which already owns NBC Universal, domain over the data delivered to a near majority of homes in the U.S. via cable and Internet services. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has already thrown down the gauntlet with Comcast over net neutrality concerns.

Craig Aaron, president of the online rights lobby group Free Press, gave a grim forecast about the Comcast-TWC deal to The Guardian on Thursday:

“This is a company that has already been caught blocking internet traffic,” said Aaron. “But it’s clear their long-term plan is to take a free and open internet and turn it into something like cable TV, where they pick the channels and they speed them up and slow them down based on who pays them the most.”

“If you hate your cable guy now, you are going to hate your cable guy on steroids,” said Aaron.

Of course, the heads of both companies characterized the deal as “pro-consumer” on a call to journalists that day.

—Posted by Donald Kaufman. 

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