Time Warner Cable really isn’t doing so hot, as evidenced by its latest earnings report. Not only is the company losing a massive number of TV service subscriptions, but it’s also losing broadband Internet service customers too. Oh, and did I mention TWC kind of sucks in general?
All of these developments have caused TWC shareholders to reconsider selling off the company to another cable provider. And one of the potential buying happens to be Comcast, according to a CNBC report that cites anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
Comcast is currently the largest cable provider in the country, followed by TWC. So if a merger were to occur, there would be massive concern over whether the combined companies would stifle the competition.
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But that doesn’t mean that federal regulators would put the screws into any such merger like they did when it came to the giant telecom merger between AT&T and T-Mobile U.S.A. a few years back (which fell apart).
Unlike the telecom industry, television providers are consistently losing subscribers as viewers migrate to the Internet for their video entertainment. There is still a portion of the country that prefers getting cable TV, but cable providers may no longer be able to grow as businesses unless they’re big enough.
Additionally, there’s little true competition between cable providers, since most areas of the country only offer one company to chose from.
So if a merger does happen, regulators would likely be fine with it provided a rather lengthy list of stipulations were met that would improve cable and Internet service for everyone; for example, forcing the new Comcast-TWC entity to provide service to all residents within a city its operating in, mandatory Internet speed increases, and maybe allowing subscribers to chose only the cable channels they want to pay for. About the only thing that wouldn’t change would be the high price of service.
Comcast isn’t the only cable provider mulling over a bid for TWC. Charter communications has also been rumored to be interested in buying TWC, despite being significantly smaller than TWC itself. And it wouldn’t at all surprise me if Google was also in the running, considering it is slowly planning to take on the competition via Google Fiber.
Would you welcome a TWC merger? Let us know in the comment section below.
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