Help Me Stop the Comcast-Time Warner Merger

To: Attorney General Eric Holder

Help Me Stop the Comcast-Time Warner Merger
160,860
of 200,000 signatures
Campaign created by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree Icon-email

The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner is not in the best interests of American consumers and threatens the free and open nature of the Internet. We urge you as Attorney General not to let this merger proceed.

Why is this important?

A merger of the two largest cable companies in the United States would be a bad deal for consumers, leading to less competition and likely higher prices for subscribers. And a combined Comcast-Time Warner would be in a position to slow or even block Internet traffic from content providers like Netflix or Hulu if the cable company decided they didn't want the competition.

Subscribers are frustrated with the service and price of cable service, and almost no one thinks letting the two companies with the worst consumer satisfaction ratings in the industry would somehow magically make those problems go away.

One of the biggest threats posed by this proposed merger is to a free and open Internet. Already cable companies are facing loss of subscribers from unhappy customers who want to "cut the cord" and switch to online services like Netflix and Hulu.  Recent court cases have struck serious blows to the principal of net neutrality , which means a merged Comcast/Time Warner would have wide latitude to start restricting bandwidth or demanding payment from online services they deem to be competition. 

And with Comcast already owning Universal Pictures and all of NBC, the economic incentive to discriminate against competing content providers would be very strong.

Cable companies typically enter into contracts with cities -- a franchise agreement -- that guarantee them a monopoly for cable TV service over a specific period of time. The idea is that the competition for that lucrative contract will drive companies to offer more services for lower prices -- but if the #1 and #2 cable companies become one massive "media juggernaut" there will suddenly be a lot less competition for those franchise agreements and communities all across the country will suffer.

Finally, a combined Comcast/Time Warner would be, quite simply, just too big, with too much power over subscribers, content providers and, quite frankly, too much influence in Washington.  

Comcast and Time Warner may be hoping that armies of highly paid lobbyists and attorneys can push this deal through, so we have to make sure that the voices of millions of unhappy cable subscribers who know this will be a bad deal for them are heard. As former FCC Commission Michael Copps said "This is so over the top it ought to be dead on arrival." 

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

References:
-- http://www.npr.org/2014/01/18/263781846/net-neutrality-court-ruling-could-cost-consumers-limit-choices
-- http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-comcast-deal-20140214,0,4696720.story#axzz2tyt21ONu
-- http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/02/19/the-comcasttime-warner-deal-isnt-about-competition-its-about-power/
-- http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-comcast-time-warner-doesnt-pass-the-smell-test/2014/02/18/4b00e120-9808-11e3-afce-3e7c922ef31e_story.html
Flag this petition for review

Updates

less than a minute ago

150,000 signatures reached

less than a minute ago

100,000 signatures reached

less than a minute ago

50,000 signatures reached

less than a minute ago

20,000 signatures reached

about 1 month ago

10,000 signatures reached

about 1 month ago

5,000 signatures reached

less than a minute ago

1,000 signatures reached

about 1 month ago

500 signatures reached

about 1 month ago

100 signatures reached

about 1 month ago

50 signatures reached

less than a minute ago

25 signatures reached

about 1 month ago

10 signatures reached