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Malone Tells Anyone Who'll Listen Cable Should Consolidate
Time Warner Buy of Cablevision Remains Most Likely Option
by Karl Bode 08:40AM Friday Jul 12 2013
With his new ownership of UK's Virgin Media and his new 27% stake in Charter Communications, cable industry mainstay John Malone has sparked a new round of talk about consolidation in the cable industry, consolidation that likely won't turn out particularly well for the consumer. Malone is telling anyone who'll listen this week that cable operators need to start buying one another, whether it's Charter buying Time Warner Cable, or Time Warner Cable buying someone else:
"Whether A merges with B, B buys A or A, B and C get together to do a joint ventures to do things that have to be done in larger scale, that's really the message I'm trying to deliver," he said without specifying which companies those letters represent. Companies have to get bigger to thrive, he said. Comcast is large enough to do OK. The rest of the industry needs consolidation, in our view, in order to get scale economics," Malone said.
While cable companies don't compete directly, fewer cable operators makes it easier for companies to standardize high pricing and fewer perks for the consumer (Susan Crawford this week worried the consolidation will finally result in the full shift to metered billing the industry has long dreamed of). When it comes to mergers and acquisitions in cable, Time Warner Cable's acquisition of increasingly-struggling Cablevision continues to make the most geographical sense.

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He doesn't stop at just cable...

He's also urging Ergen to consider merging Dish with Directv.


Opelika, AL

Re: He doesn't stop at just cable...

said by Chuck_IV:

merging Dish with Directv.

Hah. You mean Echostar with DirecTV.


Let Them All Merge

Who cares? They don't compete with each other anyways. And there is no legal basis under current law to stop them for all merging into one large, national, cable company.

While cable companies don't compete directly, fewer cable operators makes it easier for companies to standardize high pricing and fewer perks for the consumer

Whether there are 5 large cable companies across the country or one, the pricing power does not change on this basis.

Hazelwood, MO

Re: Let Them All Merge

I think I am with this consolidation for the very reason you state but for a more back evil kind of reason.

Once they become 1 company, then it will be easier for the government to implement my plan of 1 fiber network nationwide to all consumers and businesses through regulations.

So with that in mind, lets give them lots of incentives to become one company this year (lets throw in the telco's too). Hell, lets say if they can get it all done by 12/31 they pay not taxes at all for 2013 just to get them salivating. Then within the next year or 2 after the cut over lets implement regulations requiring them to spin off their services making them official dump pipes that only service the network and sell access to all those that want to provide services across it. It will then make it a little easier to require and hold accountable the company that will be forced to roll fiber and provide at a minimum 45/45 mbps to EVERYONE within the next decade.

Works for me and it will finally be the government sticking it to the companies just like they have done in reverse for decades.


Springfield, MO

Re: Let Them All Merge

one small flaw in that do you have any idea how much lobbying power they would have then?
more likely they would never pay tax again and prices would go up 10x and they would just slow every thing down even more


Orange, CA

Market Share?

I do not know if I remember correctly but isnt there some type of rule(s) with cable companies and market share limit? Like 30% market share?


Weirton, WV

Re: Market Share?

didn't a court render that un constitutional a few years ago?

Never a dull moment
Jackson, NJ
·Optimum Online

I doubt Cablevision will sell

Cablevision has just invested heavily in their network. From speed increases and bonded upstream channeling, to increases in DVR network capacity, and general improvements, Cablevision is not acting like a company that is about to be sold. Companies who are prepared to be sold or bought out freeze all improvements, minimize maintenance, raise prices, and hold back on any expensive improvements. Cablevision has done the opposite. No one who has Cablevision wants that crypt keeper John Malone, or the slime-warner gang taking over our systems and starting metered billing and huge price increases.