By Marvin Garcia |Staff Writer|
The merge was approved by decree of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Feb. 13.
Comcast is the largest television cable and home Internet service provider in the United States, and the third largest telephone company, serving 40 states.
California placed various conditions to approve the transaction, including expanding TWC’s affordable internet package, improving customer service, allowing cities and towns to build their own broadband networks or competitors, according to arstechnica.com.
Comcast vice president, David Cohen, said that some of the CPUC regulations could be intrusive and unrealistic to the company’s business, and that they are simply unattainable under market conditions, especially with populations that have been slow to adopt broadband.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles House Representative, Tony Cardenas was one of the first to oppose the merging of Comcast and TWC, stressing how it will affect consumers and commercial areas.
“I asked the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S Department of Justice, and the CPUC, to deny this merger because it is bad for consumers. It will harm competition, it will lead to less diverse content and more expensive cable and Internet access, and will eliminate good jobs in California,” said Cardenas at a Writers Guild of America (WGA) presentation in Los Angeles.
Comcast has developed a controversial reputation as a result of their business practices.
Also, it has received harsh criticism from customers who claim to have been insulted while trying to cancel their subscription.
One of those practices was the corporation’s violation of network neutrality, where they purposely deprived customers from online access and free file uploads.
A case reported by Best VPN Service addressed how one customer was threatened by a Comcast representative with having his subscription terminated if he continued to use TOR, an anonymous browsing software primarily for privacy.
The Comcast customer directly quoted, “Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules. Do you have any other questions? Thank you for contacting Comcast, have a great day.”
TWC has begun to follow the pattern of Comcast, addressing their customers in an insulting manner, reports arstechnica.com.
Esperanza Martinez, a resident of Orange County, was called a derogatory term when she requested to end her subscription.
“The proposed horizontal expansion constitutes a serious threat to fair competition and freedom of expression” said Christopher Keyser, president of the WGA, to the Hollywood Reporter.
Once Comcast acquires TWC, they will also take all Charter Spectrum subscribers, covering about 90 percent of Southern California.