By this time next year, the Time Warner name will be gone. The entertainment company that has that name is spinning off the publication units of Time, Inc into its own company while the Warner media and content divisions remain its own unit. It’s likely they’ll use Warner in the umbrella brand name and drop the Time because it’s inevitable. Let’s face it, they don’t call the company AOL Time Warner either, especially after AOL was spun off.
Also, the cable service provider Time Warner Cable will also be a thing of the past when the Comcast deal goes through and the two biggest cable providers become one monopolistic entity demon covering top markets across the country, including the Top 5 media markets.
And yes, it is a monopoly.
Don’t let the media tell you any differently, the cable industry is largely a monopolistic industry. When you only have one choice of a service, that’s a monopoly.
"B-b-but you can get satellite services like DirecTV or fiber-optic services like Verizon FIOS or AT&T U-Verse."
Not always. Most communities only have one cable provider, and smaller companies have no chance of entering the market. Most apartment buildings don’t allow satellite service and only has one company they deal with, which is usually the cable company. For example, I live in an apartment. I can’t get any of the satellite companies and I can’t get FIOS, but I can get Cox here.
The smaller industry means the big boys make the rules and set the prices. Cable prices are already astronomical and are only going to get higher without significant changes in programming, quality, and actual variety. You’ll see more and more clashes between Comcast and the companies that own cable networks like Disney, Discovery, Viacom, CBS, 21st Century Fox, AMC Networks, and the OTHER company that’s still called Time Warner. You know, the one that owns the Turner channels and HBO? Prepare for huge fights that could black out channels nationwide. Larger footprint, bigger impact.
Oh … you might be one of those “cord-cutters” the news media loves to slobber over. You brave souls that bucked “the system” by “dropping cable” and only going through broadband for your entertainment needs.
Think you’re immune?
Cable companies have been struggling about what to do about “cord-cutters,” and that only took about a second before they figured out what to do: raise prices and limit access. The American broadband market, which has speeds slower than many other industrialized countries and costs 100% more than in other countries. Prices are getting higher at a faster rate than the speeds they can go. And if you think because you don’t “watch TV” you won’t be affected? That’s foolish thinking.
You’ve heard a lot about net neutrality in the news recently. In case you’ve been living under a rock, net neutrality is the is the principle that ISPs and governments should “treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging deferentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.” In short, the Interest should remain as is. Big broadband companies and media corporations have been publicly against it by stating publicly they’d never limit access to anything online nor slow you down.
That has been disproven many times over, and most times, the culprit was Comcast. All the major cable companies are against net neutrality, including Time Warner Cable and Comcast. They’ll be in a bigger position to limit access to certain sites, apps, and anything they happen to disagree with. If greed clouds their mind, they could even block access to entertainment sites owned by outside companies like, say, YouTube or Netflix.
Not saying they would, but given the fact that the federal courts recently gave them leeway to do so, they legally could now.
So, what can we do about it?
Admittedly not much, sad to say. The weak-kneed division in charge of business mergers like this tend to let oligarchies and monopolies go through with no worries, and this is still the case.
But there are so many people against the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger. Diverse voices that normally wouldn’t get along are opposed to this merger.
If you’re against it as much as I am, contribute your voice to the cause and join us.