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Analytical Paper

1330 words - 6 pages

From a consumer standpoint, the headline in the newspapers of two cable provider giants forming a merged company seems frightening at first. Two major cable and broadband providers, titled Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are planning a $45 billion merger between the two companies to form a national provider of cable and internet services. Since 2009, Time Warner Cable, or TWC, has disassociated with Time Warner leaving the network of Time Warner, HBO, and Warner Brothers studio behind. According to CNN, Comcast is the, “largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States, and the nation's third largest home telephone service provider with primary markets in ...view middle of the document...

Tim Hanlon, the founder of the Vertere investment group claimed, “this isn't about TV anymore -- it's about controlling a fatter, more intelligent pipe for multiple services that emanate from it, including broadband Internet, phone and home security monitoring” (CNN Money). Netflix and HBO house several television series that are exclusive to their online ownership. While this is an effective and very successful method to rake in high profit, Comcast or TWC holds no secretive weapon, or TV series, to rebuttal against the stated entertainment companies; instead, two companies plan to merge in an effort to gain more subscribers. For years, the cable and satellite television providers have battled out their differences between services provided and different forms of entertainment offered per channel. Rising now is the presence of online entertainment, such as Netflix and HBOGo, and the convenient method to simply click and access shows on demand by paying a monthly subscription fee. Not only does Comcast and TWC have to compete face to face with satellite TV providers, now they must compete against online entertainment providers in an effort to gather profits as effectively as possible. To battle against the newcomers of entertainment providers, Comcast plans to pay a multi-billion dollar merge contract to combine the two cable, internet, and telephone service providers into a large supplier of services to the general public.
With a merge of two major cable, internet, and telephone providers, this proves to be a perfect target for anti-trust lawyers. Acquiring up to 30 million subscribers seemed frightening to anti-trust lawyers, which resulted in multiple halts of the merger between Comcast and TWC to present day. In the past, anti-trust lawyers have attempted to halt the merger between Comcast and NBCUniversal; however, the merger proved to be non-monopolistic and was eventually approved. Current day, anti-trust lawyers argue that the merger will bring about unfair prices to consumers. Princeton University economist, Paul Krugman, criticized the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger by stating, “Comcast is able to extract far more favorable deals from content providers than smaller rivals, and if it's allowed to acquire Time Warner Cable, it will be even more advantaged” (Huffington Post). The basic definition of a monopoly is the concept of one seller with many buyers. Krugman asserts that unfair prices will be offered to the current subscribers of both Comcast/TWC if the deal continues onward. What Krugman did not recognize is that the merger will only account for only 30 percent of the U.S. population; the other 70 percent of Americans have either subscribed to a different service provider or have chosen to go offline. A subscription contract with Comcast/TWC does not lock an individual in with a lifelong subscription with no hope of leaving; a regular subscriber has the free will to leave their subscription if they are not satisfied...

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