Consumer Groups: Customers Will Be ‘Worse Off’ After Comcast Merger

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Consumer advocacy groups are petitioning federal regulators to reject a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable that they say would harm customers and hinder innovation, the Hill reports.

The groups Consumers Union and Common Cause sent a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday:

“Consumers have expressed strong concerns about this merger, and how it would leave them worse off—with fewer choices, higher prices, less innovation and poorer service,” the petition said, warning of industry consolidation.

The groups pointed to widespread discontent among Comcast customers as a sign that the company is already too large.

“Widespread consumer complaints of high prices, poor service, and no choices are unmistakable hallmarks of an absence of meaningful competition,” the petition said.

“Comcast and [Time Warner Cable] already dominate television and broadband service in most of the key parts of the country, and this merger would only expand and strengthen and solidify that dominance.”

Customers have given low marks to both Comcast and Time Warner for high bills and poor customer service, according to numerous surveys.

Comcast also has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, including millions in contributions to its political campaigns since 1989.