Comcast-NBC merger conditions expire, raising anti-competitive fears

January 23rd, 2018 at 3:10:19 AM permalink
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Axios
When approving the merger in 2011, the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission required Comcast-NBCUniversal to abide by more than 150 conditions. As they phase out, some worry the media giant will engage in anti-competitive behavior that the conditions were designed to prevent — especially with the FCC's net neutrality rules also going away.

What expired: The government-imposed conditions limited the kind of deals Comcast could make with other video programmers and distributors. The last of the other conditions will expire in September.

With those constraints lifting, Comcast-NBCUniversal would, in theory, be able to:

Charge online TV distributors different fees than it charges traditional pay-TV providers, allowing it to recoup some pricing leverage.

Pull access to (or "black out") its networks from other cable and satellite providers, a common negotiating tactic. Under the conditions, Comcast had to take programming-carriage disputes to arbitration.

Have more say over Hulu, in which it owns a stake. Comcast had been barred from influencing its strategic direction since the merger.

Do DT forum members worry about competition among the big broadcasters?

Better than expected earnings and new subscribers means that Netflix stock jumped by 8% pushing them into the $100 billion club.
January 23rd, 2018 at 7:46:45 AM permalink
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: Pacomartin

Do DT forum members worry about competition among the big broadcasters?

Not really, but I am so tuned out as to be an outlier. For example, working from home and just listening to podcasts so far. With few exceptions (e.g.: Better Call Saul) I cannot imagine caring much about any show. Even then, I watch online sometimes thru a dark provider.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
January 23rd, 2018 at 8:38:12 AM permalink
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 876
Posts: 10425
As of the end of 2017, Netflix had 117.6 million streaming members worldwide.

In June 2017 Netflix claimed a symbolic victory, wen their U.S. streaming subscribers (50.85 million) exceeded the number of customers for the country’s top six cable companies (48.61 million) led by Comcast (22.5 million) and Charter Communications (17.1 million), and representing the bulk of the U.S. cable industry.

Internet Standard Protocol Television
Hulu has signed up about 450,000 live TV subscribers since launching its pay TV service last May .
Google (YouTube Live TV) has managed to sign up roughly 300,000 live TV subscribers since its launch last year as well.
Sling TV -- which now has around 1.68 million subscribers, and
AT&T's DirecTV Now -- which recently passed the 1 million subscriber mark.

Some analysts predicted that smaller cable companies (not Comcast or Charter) would stop offering television and become just ISPs, so far AFAIK, the only company to do so is Google Fiber which sell 100 Mbps ($50) and 1Gbps ($70) Internet and a fiber phone service for $10. They have discontinued selling television for $90 and presumably hope that people will sign up for YouTube Live TV.