News tagged: Time Warner Cable
Comcast has quite a chore ahead of it in order to gain regulatory approval, given concerns about vertical integration, overall reach and concentrated market power when it comes to content licensing. One of the ideas being considered as a merger condition would be to spin off some of the acquired customers into an entirely new company.
Comcast already expected to be forced to divest some assets, though according to a report by Bloomberg
, Comcast could divest roughly 3 million subscriber to form a new competitor:
Regulators may push for the spin-out because it would create a new competitor, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. A new company formed in such a way would be the fourth-largest U.S. cable company by subscribers, trailing the merged Comcast-Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications Inc. and Charter.
Comcast also remains in talks with companies like Charter to simply outright buy those divested customers. Comcast and Time Warner Cable obviously don't compete, so it's unclear how consumers would benefit from simply having 3 million subscribers under a company of a different name.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled what should be the first public forum for debating the benefits and drawbacks of Comcast's planned $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Judiciary Committee chair Sen. story continues..
According to a new Ranker.com poll
, AT&T is considered the worst at customer service with Time Warner Cable ranked second and Comcast ranked sixth. The next telecom company doesn't even appear on their list until Verizon Wireless shows up at spot 21. "Younger consumers appear particularly frustrated by Time Warner and Comcast, naming them the #1 and #3 worst companies in our data, which suggests that these companies’ reputations are worst amongst the very consumers most likely to opt for internet television," states Ranker.com Data Analyst Ravi Iyer.
As we've recently noted
, Austin is starting to resemble the kind of competitive market most of us only dream about. Thanks to Google Fiber, AT&T is now planning to offer $70, 1 Gbps connections in the city -- recently joined by Grande Communications, who says they too will offer 1 Gbps lines for $65 a month
As we've noted previously
, short-lived new Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus stood to profit quite handsomely from getting an acquisition deal done just months after taking over the CEO spot from Glenn Britt. Language in his contract has Marcus potentially making $56 million (depending on stock fluctuations) on Comcast's proposed acquisition of the company, assuming it makes its way past regulators.
Users in our Time Warner Cable forum
inform us they too are taking part in rate hike season festivities, the cable operator informing users that prices will be going up for many users starting March 1 for both cable TV and broadband services (not to mention set top box rentals).
Time Warner Cable is also starting to charge users a $2.25 "Broadcast TV" fee next month, which as we've been discussing
is something most cable operators have been doing as a way to sneakily bury retransmission fee hikes from broadcasters in below the line fees.
A Time Warner Cable shareholder has sued to stop Comcast's $45.2 billion takeover over the company, arguing the deal faces steep regulatory approval hurdles and was the result of "unfair dealing." According to Bloomberg
, the lawsuit aims to stop the "sale of the company at an unfair price through an unfair and self-serving process to Comcast." Shareholder Breffni Barrett argues that Comcast's massive size raises antitrust concerns that wouldn't have come with a smaller suitor like Charter (even though Charter refused to make an offer above $132 per share
The lobbying/regulator revolving door has been spinning so quickly for Comcast that it should greatly help ease approval of their Time Warner Cable acquisition (as an aside, somebody should harness it for renewable energy). You'll recall that former FCC boss Michael Powell now heads the cable industry's top lobbying organization, the NCTA. story continues..
Talks to embed Netflix service on Time Warner Cable set top boxes are on hold courtesy of the Comcast merger acquisition, a source informs Bloomberg
. The piece notes that Comcast is much less likely to want Netflix on their set tops due to their heavy focus on the new(ish) X1 set top platform, which Comcast has increasingly linked to their own Streampix video services. Time Warner Cable had recently announced new "Maxx" broadband, cable and set top upgrades
, but it remains unclear how many subscribers will actually get to see them before the deal is completed.
"People familiar with the company's thinking" (aka pretty much anybody) tell the Wall Street Journal
that Charter is unlikely to make a counter offer to acquire Time Warner Cable. The company is unlikely to go above their existing $132 per share offer to match or exceed Comcast's $159 per share offer, a price point Charter had hoped to drive down by apparently insulting Time Warner Cable services
. Instead, notes the Journal, Charter and John Malone will focus their efforts on other possible acquisition targets like Cox Communications, as well as take a chunk of the subscribers and networks Comcast will attempt to divest to make the deal more palatable to regulators.
A number of companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Google, and Microsoft are expected to announce a new coalition named WiFiForward
that will push for expansion of access to unlicensed spectrum for wireless networks. The new coalition was supposed to be announced yesterday, though the announcement appears to have been delayed out of fears it wouldn't have been noticed under the din of the Comcast Time Warner Cable announcement.
Notably absent from the coalition is AT&T and Verizon, who use Wi-Fi for offloading, but would obviously prefer you pay them for accessing cellular networks:
...after spending billions of dollars to upgrade to faster, so-called LTE technology, AT&T and its peers are now looking to bring that traffic back. "We are now at a place where the pricing is right, LTE is performing very, very well, and you want to drive utilization of these networks," AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said at an analysts conference in December.
The cable industry originally had cellular ambitions but after acquiring spectrum (now owned by Verizon) realized that competing with AT&T and Verizon on their turf would be very cash intensive. They've instead worked together to offer a broader array of publicly available hotspots in higher traffic areas, which are free if you subscribe to traditional cable services.
Comcast today didn't waste much time in paving the way for what they hope will be regulatory approval of their $45 billion planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable
. Needless to say, there's going to be a lot of worries about the impact of letting Comcast grow ever larger, even if the company plans to divest a small chunk of their acquired markets to Charter Communications.
Comcast this morning confirmed reports from last night
that the company would be buying (or trying to buy) Time Warner Cable in a deal estimated to be worth around $45 billion. In a statement
released this morning, Comcast promises the deal will create a "world-class company" and "meaningful operational efficiencies" resulting in a "superior experience for our customers." You'll of course get to be the judge of that, provided the deal even gets past regulators wary of vertical integration who may not be eager to see Comcast grow larger. Comcast states they expect the deal to close by the end of 2014.
CNBC reporter David Faber is breaking the news on Twitter
that Comcast has beaten Charter to the punch and will be acquiring Time Warner Cable in an all-stock deal valued at around $159 per share (valuing Time Warner Cable at around $44.4 billion). The news is being backed up by Bloomberg
, quoting sources that state the deal should officially be announced tomorrow morning.
There have been rumors for years that Apple wanted to do something truly disruptive in the TV sector (like a new subscription TV service). Unfortunately those repeated rumors
have never amounted to much of anything because Apple keeps running into the same problem every other company that attempts this does: stubborn broadcasters who are terrified of the existing cash cow being disrupted.
Charter shows no sign in backing off their desired acquisition of Time Warner Cable, this week making more aggressive moves as part of a hostile takeover bid. Charter originally made an offer of $37.3 billion, or around $132.50 per share. story continues..
Time Warner Cable seems intent on telling its customers what their Internet speeds should and should not be. As this website noted about a year ago
, Time Warner Cable's CEO proudly proclaimed that none of his customers want 1 Gbps service.
Last year Time Warner Cable expanded their 100 Mbps offering into Los Angeles
, as well as Kansas City where they compete with Google Fiber. Now users in our Time Warner Cable forum
indicate that New York City is seeing the faster 100 Mbps speeds as well. Time Warner Cable has taken a much more measured approach to DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades, though last week stated
that Los Angeles and New York City would also be the first markets upgraded to the company's looming, faster 300 Mbpx "Maxx" upgrade. Users note that NYC residents may need to reset their modem via the Time Warner Cable website
to see the increased speeds.
Los Angeles area Time Warner Cable customers were more than a little annoyed over the weekend when the cable company's feed of the Super Bowl suddenly went dark
during the end of the second quarter, and stayed out for more than an hour. The outage didn't do Time Warner Cable any favors at a time when they're trying to justify a higher price tag from Charter Communications
, who has been highlighting Time Warner Cable shortcomings to the opposite end goal. Time Warner Cable has responded by offering impacted customers a $5 credit
(the company highlights that only the SD game feed was impacted).
Anonymous sources tell Reuters
that Charter will likely present a new, higher bid to acquire Time Warner Cable sometime within the next two weeks. Charter originally made an offer of $37.3 billion, or around $132.50 per share.
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