Comcast Says That If You Object To Its Merger With Time Warner Cable, You're Ignorant And Unreasonable

from the because-. dept

Oh, Comcast. Remember how it was going to try to be a bit more subtle in pushing for approval of its merger with Time Warner Cable? Well, you can only deny your true nature for so long. The main force behind getting the merger approved, Comcast's Executive VP David Cohen -- the company's most powerful lobbyist who isn't registered as a lobbyist because he's realized that as long as he says he's not lobbying, he isn't -- has announced that no one knowledgeable or reasonable has objected to the merger. By implication, of course, this means that everyone objecting to the merger is ignorant and unreasonable:
"I have been struck by the absence of rational, knowledgeable voices in this space coming out in opposition or even raising serious questions about the transaction." Cohen added.
Meanwhile, the obviously ignorant and unreasonable Writers Guild of America West has spoken out against the merger, noting that Comcast's increasing use of broadband "caps, tiers, metering or other usage-based pricing" could create serious problems in killing off competitive online video distributors. And the eminently knowledgeable and reasonable Comcast retorted that it doesn't have any caps at all. Oh no. It's merely "testing data thresholds."
"We don’t have data caps — and haven’t for about two years," said Sena Fitzmaurice, Comcast’s vice president of government communications. "We have tested data thresholds where very heavy customers can buy more if they want more — but that only affects a very small percentage of our customers in a few markets."
Apparently, spewing complete bullshit is the only thing that counts as "reasonable" and "knowledgeable" in the minds of Comcast's top execs.

Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:33am

    The default answer of the FCC to any proposed merger should be "no" from a purely business perspective. We've already had to break up one telecommunications company. At the rate we're headed we're going to have to do it again before the decade is out.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:36am

    Corruption!

    You got money, we got your cure!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:38am

    unreasonable

    Yup... I'm entirely unreasonable but not entirely ignorant.

     

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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Insults

    Speaking to Comcast, all I can say is:
    "Takes one to know one, bud!"

     

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    Bengie, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:46am

    Additionally

    Any incumbent ISP that charges more than $300 for 1gb and can't handle the speeds the sell, is ignorant unreasonable.

    Got a 100mb Comcast connection and have lag playing WoW during peak hours? That's because they can't handle the 96kb/s you're trying to use. Less than ISDN speeds.

     

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    Michael, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:49am

    Sadly, I just switched TO Comcast for my home internet service.

    Can anyone guess the reason?

    That's right - my only other wired internet option available is a 1mb connection from AT&T. Yup - a real competitive market there...

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:49am

    "We have tested data thresholds where very heavy customers can buy more if they want more"

    Because it makes perfect business sense when running a buffet to go up to your "heavy customers" and tell them they need to pay more for their meal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 10:49am

    Was there somebody rubbing their nipples while this was being said?

     

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    Rob (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:06am

    Just checked my cap and low and behold they did change the wording…

    Note:enforcement of the 250GB data consumption threshold is currently suspended

    Used to say cap.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:14am

    We have tested data thresholds where very heavy customers can buy more if they want more

    Sheer bullshit.If you are a heavy user with one speed you'll still use a whole lot with larger pipes. Simply because what limits you effectively is the pipe. This weekend I went on a download spree. Between installing Windows (and updating it), Netflix, downloading a few games (Steam) on my notebook and grabbing 1080p anime (that is not available in my country btw and I only downloaded 3 episodes) I gobbled down over 80Gb on my 35mbit connection. I don't do it often but this is basically the entirety of most caps (for comparison, the caps for 10mbit on a local provider here is 90Gb). And I'm not even mentioning the Gb uploaded synchronizing a few folders with my cloud storage.

    This is not a heavy user, this is just regular using. They are full of bullshit, they want money, that's it.

     

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:26am

    TIme to Organize

    New organization: IgnorantandUnreasonable.org which is reasonably an organization that everyone except Comcast merger fanatics would automatically belong to. There are four levels of membership*:

    SuperStar: You are a Comcast subscriber but wish dearly there was another choice.

    Proponent: You are not a Comcast subscriber and daily praise that you are not.

    Adherent: You are a TimeWarner subscriber and rue the day this merger will take place.

    Agnostic: You live in a bubble lined with cupidity and complacency and cannot be bothered to be concerned about what some big corporations might or might not do, but will cry the loudest when the negative impacts become clear sometime own the road.

    *All characterisations herein made are enhanced rehabilitations of otherwise uncharacterised and totally fictional representations.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:49am

    Only an ignorant, unreasonable and greedy person would expect other companies, such as Netflix, to pay for all their infrastructure upgrades. Then proceed to squeeze more money from their customers through artificially low data cap limits.

    Then finish their whole argument by saying all of the above still isn't enough, and proceed to push legislators and the public to approve a merger giving Comcast a near total monopoly on America's landline broadband market.

    Not to mention the extraordinary leverage a residential broadband monopoly will grant Comcast in peering negotiations with Tier 1 ISPs.

    I use the term 'negotiate' lightly, because in reality it's more like extortion, from what Level3 and Cogent have been stating.

    http://blog.level3.com/global-connectivity/chicken-game-played-child-isps-internet/

    http://ww w.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cogent-offers-to-pay-capital-costs-incurred-by-major-telephone-and-ca ble-companies-necessary-to-ensure-adequate-capacity-251454731.html

    There's some knowledgeable and reasonable objections, for the VP of Lobbying at Comcast.

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 11:51am

    Why do you hate the Cable Cos So?

    Karl,

    Why are you always out to get them?

    Derek.

    P.S. Mike, just thought for once you'd like to have mistaken attribution of a Techdirt post go *away* from you. Plus, as a bonus, this really does read like a Bode post...which is mostly a good thing.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:00pm

    as soon as the boss of a company starts putting out comments like this that the shit is about to hit fan for customers. it's always the same when there is far more to be gained by a merger, so much effort put into convincing the sceptics.

     

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    JP Jones (profile), Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:34pm

    As a previous Time Warner user, my new rate has only increased by $50 for the exact same internet that still doesn't reach advertised speeds and has nearly unusable WiFi! Oh, sorry, I must be too ignorant to figure out why this is an improvement. My bad.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    "We don't have data caps because we don't call them data caps!"

     

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    identicon
    Limmy, Apr 4th, 2014 @ 1:37pm

    Break up all big media

    To preserve free market competition and prevent market distortions from oligopolies, nobody should be allowed to own more than, say, 5% market share of the media space.

    Breaking up all the big media companies, telecoms and ISPs into smaller bits will do wonders for bringing back a free press (which we haven't had in years since news organizations will never fund serious investigative reporting into fellow corporations as they are "potential advertisers"), preserving net neutrality, stopping copyright trolls, and a host of other abuses and harm to true capitalism and democracy.

     

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      NaBUru38 (profile), Apr 7th, 2014 @ 6:39am

      Re: Break up all big media

      "nobody should be allowed to own more than, say, 5% market share of the media spac"

      That wouldn't do much to competition: companies would distribute markets so each gets a few neighbourhoods or towns.

      The solution must be to encourage companies to enter markets where where are competitors. For example, Comcast-Time Warner should transfer half their customers from a few key markets to companies that don't operate there.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Apr 7th, 2014 @ 8:28am

        Re: Re: Break up all big media

        But that's the way it used to be before deregulation. There were numerical limits on how many newspapers/TV stations/radio stations you could own in a given market. Those rules were removed and now we have the situation where almost all media (including small "hometown" newspapers) are owned by a handful of huge corporations.

        And you know what we had before deregulation? A LOT more competition, and a LOT more diversity.

         

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    bobby b, Apr 5th, 2014 @ 4:01am

    So, Big Meanie Comcast says that its detractors are Ignorant and Unreasonable!

    Boy! What jerks, eh? "If you don't agree with us, you must be stoopid!"

    Now, what was that quote from the earlier post right here on Techdirt?

    "If that doesn't strike you as absurd, you're likely missing some significant sections of your brain."

    Or, translated into standard English, "If you don't agree with us, you must be stoopid!"

     

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    edinjapan (profile), Apr 5th, 2014 @ 6:36pm

    Softbank

    Sell it to Masayoshi Son of Softbank. He would love having TimeWarner and he could do to US internet, broadband and mobile rates what he did to Japan's rates. I get one bill from Softbank for my internet, mobile phone, ISP and home phone for less than $30/month. And I don't have to worry about tiers, caps or all that BS you stupid Americans have to.

     

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    healing toolbox, May 1st, 2014 @ 2:55pm

    Comcast merger is totalitarianism in media

    I'm in awe of the hubris of Comcast. Is there no ethics, morals values other than the dollar as appraised by Wall Street?

    I guess we can say "those who live by Wall Street are destined to die by Wall Street."

    This power play is so unnecessary. Wall Street does not need more profit from Comcast, Comcast could be a service provider in support of democractic process. Too bad they remain one of the Black Hats, the blackest of Black hats at the moment.

     

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