The Cable Guys doing their $45 billion cable deal could face real problems passing the regulatory authorities, according to reports on the massive, Comcast Time-Warner deal.
Will the deal force up higher prices for consumers and create fewer channels?
The companies, unsurprisingly, say “No”. A statement about the deal said the two groups would be “pro-competitive” and “strongly in the public interest.”
CNN reports that Comcast noted that it has higher broadband Internet speeds than Time Warner Cable, more high-definition offerings, and the deal will help make future broadband and digital TV deployment cheaper for the combined company.
The combined company would bring cable or Internet service to about 30% of American subscribers and serve 19 of the country’s 20 largest metropolitan regions. That would give Comcast, which is already the nation’s largest TV, Internet and home phone provider, an even more sizable lead on its rivals.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable also said that they barely compete, since there is little overlap between their customer markets. Satellite TV companies Dish and DirecTV as well as Verizon‘s FiOS and AT&T’sU-verse will still compete with the combined company in many of those regions.
Comcast has also offered to divest 3 million customers to competitors, giving the combined company 30 million subscribers. That compares to 20.2 million DirecTV customers in the U.S., 14 million who subscribe to Dish and 5 million AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS customers, according to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.
But cable companies are often the only available broadband providers. DirecTV and Dish do not offer broadband Internet service, instead partnering with local telephone companies that offer slower DSL connections.
Is this a deal that will serve the Cable consumers well?