NYT Media Columnist David Carr Challenges Comcast Merger

David Carr: “The big kid on the playground does not always play well with the smaller ones.”

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

New York Times media columnist David Carr today challenges the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, posing six “serious questions” that Comcast has tried to brush off — including whether Comcast will allow other broadband companies to rise and flourish:

In 20 states, there are significant obstacles and in some cases, outright prohibitions, for municipal broadband efforts and much of that was engineered by the cable industry. In Colorado, North Carolina and elsewhere, well-funded lobbying efforts and public information campaigns supported by companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have fought back homegrown alternatives for cheap, reliable broadband. The big kid on the playground who wants to get bigger does not always play well with the smaller ones.

He concludes: “Some of the reasonable questions are coming from people who clearly know what they are talking about, including a former commissioner and acting chairman of the F.C.C., Michael Copps. ‘There’s a strong case to be made why this merger shouldn’t be approved,’ he has said. ‘It’s just so much power for one company to amass, and it’s not just cable.  They’re a broadband company, they’re a broadcast company, they’re new media, they’re old media, they’re telecom, they’re everything.’”

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  • matthew brandley

    Harry Reids chief of staff use to be the vp of corporate affairs for commycast. Does that give you any idea how comcast has corrupted the entire democrap party?

  • UncleNine

    The Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger should be denied. Stopping this kind of deal is exactly why we have antitrust laws.

    This merger would put more than a third of all cable-TV subscribers
    in Comcast’s hands and give it control over more than half of the
    “triple-play” services that combine TV, phone and Internet service.
    Don’t forget, Comcast already owns NBC, MSNBC, Universal Studios, E!
    Network, USA Network, Bravo, and tons of other cable channels. That
    means that for most of America, Comcast could control even more of what
    you see and how you see it.

    As well, the behemoth would have effective control of the internet to Cap and Meter, Throttle and Block sites, and set up Toll Booths for their “competitors.” If I ran Comcast, this is exactly what I would do.

    Divesting the TV and movie stuff wouldn’t be enough. They’d still control the internet and this merger is ALL about internet control. It’s already the most profitable product they sell.

    Putting this much power in the hands of one company is dangerous. This deal would lead to less consumer choice, less diversity and much higher cable bills. Creating artificial scarcity is what monopolies do. To keep prices high and higher. Innovation is NOT what monopolies do. They invest as little as absolutely possible. Just look at the old phone company.

    This is a fight we can win. Tell the FCC and the DoJ and Congress to stop this merger.

  • NateFried

    oh man… Is Comcast a necessary evil for the rise of Philadelphia? Where would we be without Comcast? Would our job market and population be rising without it? I dont really know… but it is certainly a confusing situation. If Comcast must be killed, I hope its once Philly attracts some other big league companies that can take its place when/if it falls.