The Dish cable
Today, DISH joined in the launch of the Stop Mega Cable Coalition to help raise awareness of the harms posed by the proposed Charter/ Time Warner Cable merger. Following is the news release on the launch with more information on why the coalition was formed, a list of organizations that have joined the coalition, and quotes by select members, including Jeff Blum of DISH. The coalition also launched a website, which can be found here.
Stop Mega Cable Coalition Launches; Warns of the Harms Charter-TWC Merger Could Pose for Consumers, Competition; Calls for FCC and DOJ to Solve These Harms
New “Mega Cable” Company, Along with Comcast, Would Create a Dangerous Duopoly Controlling an Estimated 90% of the Nation’s High-Speed Broadband Connections
Washington, D.C., January 21, 2016 – The Stop Mega Cable Coalition launched today with the goal of raising awareness about the substantial harms that Charter Communication’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks could cause for the cable TV and broadband markets. Chief among those concerns is the fact that the merger would form a new “Mega Cable” company which, along with Comcast, would create a duopoly in the high-speed broadband market that could result in stifled competition from innovative streaming services, decreased opportunities for independent, diverse programmers, reduced competition across a range of related technologies, and increased costs for consumers, all while bringing even worse customer service.
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"Once again we are faced with a proposed cable merger that threatens the emergence of robust competition for streaming services, ” said Gene Kimmelman, President and CEO of Public Knowledge. “This merger, as proposed, would create a cable giant that, alongside Comcast, would control the overwhelming majority of high-speed broadband homes in this country, most of which have very few competitive options. This proposed transaction would create strong incentives for Charter and Comcast to coordinate their treatment of video programmers and broadband video distribution in ways that could damage competition and harm consumers."
The Stop Mega Cable Coalition brings together public interest groups, media and telecommunications businesses, trade associations, labor organizations and other concerned parties united in the belief that the FCC and DOJ must solve for the harms threatened by the merger of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Coalition members include:
- Cincinnati Bell
- Common Cause
- Consumers Union
- FairPoint Communications
- Future of Music Coalition
- Greenlining Institute
- Media Alliance
- Open Technology Institute at New America
- NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association
- Public Knowledge
- Sports Fans Coalition
- USTelecom – The Broadband Association
- Writers Guild of America, East
- Writers Guild of America, West
- Zoom Telephonics
The Stop Mega Cable Coalition will highlight both the stunning scale of the proposed merger and the overwhelming cable and broadband duopoly that the new company would form alongside Comcast. The Coalition calls on the FCC and DOJ to solve these substantial harms.
The New “Mega Cable” Standing Alone
- The new merged “Mega Cable” company would control more than a third of the markets for cable pay TV (35 percent) and cable broadband (36 percent), with a dominant position in the country’s largest and most important geographic markets like New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, among others.
- Two-thirds of “Mega Cable” subscribers would have no other option for high-speed broadband.
The “Mega Cable” + Comcast Duopoly Effect
- Together, “Mega Cable” and Comcast would control about 90 percent of all high-speed broadband connections in the country. That puts these giants in position to control the fate of new and emerging over-the-top (“OTT”) services that rely on a robust high-speed broadband connection.
- “Mega Cable” and Comcast could coordinate their actions by simply responding to the others’ behavior. This could take the form of parallel action or even express agreements.
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