You’re going to read a lot about this cable merger. Most of it will be bullshit. Here is the truth (based on more than a decade of closely watching the cable and TV industries):
- These cable operators will tell regulators that the efficiencies in this merger will enable them to improve customer service. But customer service will not improve.
- The operators will tell regulators that this merger will enable them to more effectively bargain for prices with TV networks. Post merger, cable TV and broadband prices will rise.
- Before the merger, most people will have only one choice for broadband. After the merger, most will still have only one choice.
- The parties will vow to accept net neutrality, then complain bitterly about unfair competition from Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, and Amazon delivered on their broadband wires. If and when they are caught slowing down or interfering with the transmission of these streaming services, they will claim it is an isolated incident that management did not sanction.
I predict that after at least 12 months regulators will approve this merger despite what you’ve just read, because regulators cannot prove things will be worse after the merger.
Graphic: Deadline Hollywood