The recent merger announced by Time Warner Cable and its rival, Comcast, has come as an unwelcome surprise to some, while others see the move as predictable and opportunistic. Comcast and Time Warner are two of the biggest names in the communications industry: together, they've been masters of a massive proportion of the market share across the United States for many years. Some insiders worry about "big cable" and claim you should be worried too. But why?
The simple answer comes down to competition. Competition is good from consumers' perspectives, because companies are forced to fight for a share of the market. Historically, lower prices, better offers, and expansion have been a successful combination for corporations looking to gain a foothold in the economy.
Like all large businesses, both Comcast and Time Warner eventually "ate" so many of the other companies—and consequently expanded so much—that they became the two biggest fish in the communications bowl. In Shakespearean terms, they were "two households, both alike in dignity" and were faced with a very limited number of choices: keep fighting or unite in a Comcast/Time Warner merger.
Comcast and Time Warner will undoubtedly become a stronger corporation when the deal is finalized. Consumers' concerns, however, may indeed be legitimate. In the past, similar large-scale mergers have had a negative impact on customer service as well as price structures. Simply put, when companies swell to enormous proportions and envelop the market almost entirely, they tend to relax. After all, customers suddenly have fewer choices. In fact, in many areas, it'll come down to Comcast or Comcast.
When companies such as Comcast try to acquire other large companies like Time Warner, merger deals are a little more complex. For example, Comcast and Time Warner still have to convince the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission to let the plans fly. If lawmakers do not approve the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger, both companies will have to make alternative plans.
If, on the other hand, the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission do approve the $45 billion dollar merger, Comcast and Time Warner will converge and become the largest cable company in America. From a customer service perspective, this may not be such a great deal. From an employment perspective, things look a little more promising.
According to Time Warner spokesman Mike Hogan, people interested in careers with either company have nothing to worry about. During a recent interview, Hogan encouraged jobseekers to continue applying for positions at both Comcast and Time Warner. New jobs, he said, are likely to remain secure: Time Warner intends to retain the "vast majority" of their employees, despite the merger
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