Shifting TV Landscape May Aid Comcast ; Antitrust Concerns Eased as More People Watch Via Internet Connections

By Wyatt, Edward | International New York Times, February 15, 2014 | Go to article overview

Shifting TV Landscape May Aid Comcast ; Antitrust Concerns Eased as More People Watch Via Internet Connections


Wyatt, Edward, International New York Times


Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable comes at a moment when consumers increasingly are cutting their cable cords.

On the face of it, the merger of the two largest cable companies in the United States would seem like a nonstarter, given its steep regulatory hurdles and skepticism from consumer watchdogs.

But Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable comes at a moment of seismic change in the television industry, with consumers increasingly cutting their cable cords and instead streaming their favorite shows via the Internet through services like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Hulu.

This shifting landscape may aid Comcast as it seeks to persuade government officials -- and deploy its prodigious army of lobbyists - - to win approval for its $45 billion takeover.

"I believe television will change more in the next five years than in the last 50," Brian L. Roberts, Comcast's chief executive, has said.

Still, the combination of the two companies, creating a cable and broadband behemoth serving about 30 million customers across 42 states, is expected to come under intense scrutiny from the Obama administration, which has toughened its enforcement of federal antitrust laws.

The effect on cable TV and Internet service prompted many consumer advocacy organizations to immediately express hostility toward the deal.

"This industry is notoriously unpopular with consumers due to poor customer service, not to mention ever-increasing bills, and a deal this size doesn't exactly convince us that things will get better," said Delara Derakhshani, the policy counsel for Consumers Union.

Washington lawmakers also said they would give it close scrutiny. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and chairwoman of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, said that because the proposed merger "could have a significant impact on the cable industry and affect consumers across the country," she planned to convene a hearing to examine the deal.

The transaction also has raised concerns among some of the cable networks, whose channels reach consumers through providers like Comcast. Randel A. Falco, the chief executive of Univision Communications, said the company would monitor the government review. "When the No.1 and the No.2 cable operators merge it is a cause of concern that requires significant scrutiny," he said.

But Comcast executives dismissed much of the criticism as "hysteria" and noted that the new company's market share of cable subscribers would be no higher than it was after completing a similar transaction with Adelphia in 2006.

In addition, Comcast said that it and Time Warner Cable did not compete in a single postal code region anywhere in the United States. Nor is the deal likely to have an effect on other providers of television programming, including Verizon, AT&T, DirecTV and Dish, which in recent years have performed better than the cable companies.

"Previous antitrust concerns are truly antiquated in light of today's marketplace realities," David L. Cohen, a Comcast executive and its chief lobbyist, said on Thursday.

There are also "cord cutters" who have jettisoned their cable providers and watch television on the Internet via fast-growing services like Netflix and YouTube. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Shifting TV Landscape May Aid Comcast ; Antitrust Concerns Eased as More People Watch Via Internet Connections
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.