Comcast and Time-Warner are about to control the cable market with one company. How Scalia and others let it happen
There was a time when the news that Comcast is about to buy Time-Warner Cable, thus eliminating its only real competitor in the cable and broadband industry, would have been greeted with a chorus of condemnation. There was a time when the public would have been infuriated by the sight of corporate deal-makers deciding, in a “friendly” transaction, to concentrate control of up to three-quarters of the cable marketplace in the hands of a single company. There was a time when the government would have been all but obligated to take action.
This is not that time. To most Americans, the story comes across as the New York Times reported it — as a story of financial elites squabbling over big numbers — and their eyes glaze over. Even this weekend’s news that Netflix has bowed to Comcast’s power, agreeing to pay it to ensure better service, isn’t likely to break the spell. That deal came little over a month after a federal appeals court threw out the FCC’s net neutrality regulations, which prohibited Internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to any type of Web traffic — another development that flew well under the radar of most consumers.