The collapse of Comcast’s plan to buy Time Warner Cable is a big victory for anyone who watches TV or uses the Internet. But it won’t be the last time the interests of consumers clash with the desires of big corporations in the media and technology space. Here are five lessons from this fight I think we should keep in mind going forward.
He was the only senator to immediately and staunchly oppose the planned merger between the two companies. He was joined by only a few others on Capitol Hill, even as it became increasingly clear that the merger might not win government approval.
Regulators declared victory on Friday after Comcast and Time Warner Cable confirmed that they had aborted their $45 billion merger, which would have created a truly national cable company with unprecedented control over the future of the country’s television and broadband markets.
Congress needs to do what it can to ensure that the industry can compete fairly. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has reintroduced legislation aimed at doing this. It’s called the “Leveling the Playing Field Act.” The bill, S. 891, would strengthen protections against unfair trade practices by foreign steel producers and governments, preventing them from illegally “dumping” large amounts of cheap steel into the U.S. It also would allow domestic steel producers to seek redress, such as tariffs or duties, more expediently. Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has signed on as one of the first cosponsors.
Comcast’s record of compliance involving Hulu as well as several other conditions it agreed to in the NBCUniversal deal is now in the spotlight as regulators scrutinize Comcast’s proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable. The deal would unite the country’s two largest cable operators, controlling just under 30 percent of the pay television subscribers and 35 to 50 percent of the nation’s broadband Internet service, depending on how regulators define the market.