Some nervous about Comcast deal
Updated: Friday, February 14 2014, 09:47 AM EST
Rochester, N.Y. -- What will it mean for cable rates? Will it mean more channels and faster internet? These are among the many questions being posed by Time Warner Cable subscribers in the wake of a recently announced mega-merger.
“They going to make it $100 per month,” said Hannelore Heyer, a Time Warner Cable customer.
The deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is fresh; it has yet to face the scrutiny of federal regulators.
Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) shares rose 7.01 percent at the close of trading following the joint announcement made by them and Comcast.
Comcast shares dropped 4.12 percent.
“There’s an interesting back and forth, I think,” said Victor Perotti, associate professor of marketing and digital business with the Saunders School of Business at RIT. “On one hand, argue that we’ll have more access to better stuff, cheaper, because they will, as a great big company, have more bargaining power with the people who create the content.”
Comcast is roughly three times the size of TWC.
“I don't know. I think there's not enough competition now because the prices keep going up,” said Mike Morrison of Henreitta. “I think that's going to hurt the public, the customers.”
A former Time Warner Cable employee questioned the merger.
"I can't see regulatory approval coming because that would make it a monopoly," said Michele Anderson, a former customer service employee at Comcast in August, Ga. of six years. "I can't see that happening."
If successful, the merger will give Comcast 30 million subscribers.
"Through the merger, Comcast will acquire Time Warner Cable’s approximately 11 million managed subscribers," wrote the company in a press release. "In order to reduce competitive concerns, Comcast is prepared to divest systems serving approximately 3 million managed subscribers."
The deal has more to do with broadband internet than cable TV, according to business experts.
"Whether you get it from traditional cable, whether you get it from satellite, whether you get it from online streaming, the internet will provide a lot of what you're watching and Comcast wants to own that internet pipe to your house," said George Conboy, president of Brighton Securities.
"There is a lot of uncertainty right now about this merger and it will be interesting to see how it plays out for the Rochester market," said Phil Yaman, Vice President and General Manager of Frontier Communications Corp. in Rochester. "In the meantime, Frontier will continue to provide competitive pricing and excellent local service to our customers."