The Time Warner-Comcast merger has been a point of contention for many. Until now, the most vocal of which has been Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who has said that the merger will lead to higher prices for everyone.
Hastings has a new ally this week, the city council of Worcester, Massachusetts. City Councilor Gary Rosen said,
This comes about as Comcast and Charter are making a few customer trades across the country in preparation for the merger. Like with wireless carriers, spectrum and customers sometimes have to be traded with competitors to avoid regulatory hurdles. Worcester is one of the markets that is being transitioned from Charter to Comcast, but clearly they are not happy about it.
This comment comes in preparation for a vote on whether to allow Comcast into their city. The Telegram & Gazette said,
By an 8-3 vote, the council Tuesday night asked Mr. Augustus to reject Comcast's request for the license transfer because it feels the cable company lacks the necessary managerial experience, based on the number of public complaints there have been about its "substandard customer service practices."
If the city manager doesn't do anything, the transfer will be approved automatically. If he does reject it, Comcast will, obviously, appeal the decision. Unfortunately for the council, their reasoning is not sound. Deputy City Solicitor Michael E. Traynor said,
He believes that customer satisfaction does not indicate enough managerial experience issues. The council hopes that the vote will send a message, though. City Councilor Konstantina Lukes said,
While it may not make a direct impact on the city, they do hope the FCC will take notice that there are some who are unhappy with the idea of a merger. Will it affect their decision regarding the merger? Only time can tell.
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