On Thursday, the long-awaited acquisition of Time Warner Cable by Comcast was reported to be on the rocks.
But what’s truly at stake for consumers in a $45 billion mega-merger between cable providers?
Peter Carstensen, emeritus professor of law at the University of Wisconsin, says they’re not competing for broadband customers—but they are competing when they buy programming. A merger could have given them sizable market power, and Senator Al Franken says competing TV networks complained to him in private, fearing reprisals.
But industry analyst Ian Olgeirson at SNL Kagan says the effects on the end consumer of this merger — or any merger with Time Warner that takes place — are likely to be subtle.