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FCC Officially Approves Merger to Create 'Price-Gouging Cable Giant'


#1

FCC Officially Approves Merger to Create 'Price-Gouging Cable Giant'

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a $90 billion merger between three telecom corporations, a move that consumer advocates warn will create a "price-gouging cable giant."

According to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, the conditions of Charter's acquisition of Time Warner and Bright House Networks will include data caps for broadband customers and fees for online services, including for video providers.


#7

It was Richard Nixon who first turned his back on antitrust enforcement.
There was still sufficient public awareness of its importance at that time and so Dickie wasn't able to get very far, but he got a foot in the door.
Ronnie 'Dutch' Reagan burst it wide open with the directive that FTC simply 'reinterpret' the statutes. And so began the era of leveraged buy-out, junk bonds, et al. Slick was mostly complicit in electing to do nothing about it, and so the party raged on. It continues to this day, and sadly we have no one in this duopolistic farce saying anything meaningful about it at all.


#10

Did Barack Obama not suggest that US Corporations , thanks to free trade, are the most Competitive Companies in the World! ?


#11

The only thing the FCC stands for is Firm Corporate Control.
What a crock.


#12

What's a measly billion or two bribe to the FCC and politicians in a 90 billion dollar merger?

"We all live in a Mafia neighborhood now".
Sam Smith


#13

I stream programs I want to watch, and use antennas for television. Happily serviced with both. :slight_smile:

Hopefully somewhere down the road we can dump Charter Internet.


#14

Ahh, the price we pay for living in paradise! Let's vote for more of this!


#15

You didn't forget about this, did you? Telecommunications Act of 1996.


#17

Time Warner is the only cable provider in my rural area (Totally Worthless Cable). I have cable to watch my three PBS stations for the most part. I cannot use Dish or DirecTV because there are too many trees that would interfere with the signal (according to installers of both). Will drop the basic cable and use only internet in anticipation of this mega merger. So much for the Sherman Antitrust Act cum Clayton Antitrust Act that the Repugs (and many Dems) loathe because they assert that it "stifles innovation and harms society" or it "creates inefficiency"...what??? In other words, monopolies are just another glorious aspect of unbridled capitalism, their chosen religion.

Elements
A Section 1 violation has three elements:[16]

  1. An agreement
  2. which unreasonably restrains competition
  3. and which affects interstate commerce.

A Section 2 violation has two elements:[17]

(1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and
(2) the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident.

What part of the Act does the FCC NOT understand???? Perhaps they should revisit and review the Sherman/Clayton Antitrust act on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act It cannot be any clearer that this merger creates MONOPOLY, especially in rural areas.


#18

And because the merger gives the cable giant so much market power, the
remaining smaller companies will be forced to raise their prices as
well.

I don't understand this statement.


#19

Information highway robbery


#20

When a company has a monopoly in a geographical market, what does being "competitive" (whether in price or services) mean?


#21

It can only mean one thing. Most profitable.

US firms having a Monopoly can garner more profits than can firms in places like France. It follows that if a US firm can get 100$$ a month providing inferior service to 100 Million customers that they will generate more profits than can a company that provide superior service for 29$ a month to 100 million customers in France. (Numbers just as example).

In generating MORE profits the US firm gives a greater return to the shareholder while providing less for more to the consumer. The rest of these profits can finance the firms future acquisitions.

The US Firm now buys out the French firm. (Free trade..the TTIP!!)

Needless to say that French firm appeals to its own Government that it should be allowed to merge with other firms inside france so as to stave off the Americans and be more "competitive"

Ah the magic of the "free market!!"


#25

I do wish Sanders would raise this as an issue! I have not heard one word about candidates stand on these issues------the internet should be a public utility! And it should be very very inexpensive!


#26

Internet for 29.95. Where?


#29

What you say is obvious but I did not know Bill had the connection.


#30

This is not administration of a people's government -- it's corruption of government via
corporate-fascism --

We have anti-trust laws on the books -- let's use them.
This is just more "ignoring the will of the people."

We have a revolving door between corporations and government in every part of
government.


#31

Yup. Just like the two-party duopoly dominates the so-called "democratic" political process.


#32

tHE cLINTON 1994 telecommunications aCT MADE SUCH MREGEERS AS THIS POSSIBLE. wANT more of the SAME--then vote Hillary Clinton. Want REAL CHANGE then vote Bernie Sanders


#33

But everyone should have reasonably fast, low-cost internet. It should be a public service.