Poll: Most oppose Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

More than half the country opposes the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, according to a new poll by Consumer Reports.

The survey released Thursday found that 56 percent of the public is against the $45 billion deal, while 11 percent support it.

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Additionally, nearly three-quarters of respondents predicted it would lead to higher cable and Internet prices and would also leave consumers with fewer choices.

“Comcast and Time Warner Cable have consistently scored poorly when it comes to customer satisfaction so it’s no surprise that Americans are skeptical of this proposed deal,” Consumers Union policy counsel Delara Derakhshani said in a statement accompanying the poll’s release. “Most consumers expect the merger will turn things from bad to worse.”

The online survey polled 1,573 people in April.

Consumers Union, the nonprofit arm of Consumer Reports, and other critics of the cable giants’ planned deal have warned that it would too heavily concentrate the country’s TV and Internet market. Comcast and Time Warner Cable are the No. 1 and 2 cable companies in the United States, and the combined firm would be in 19 of the 20 top media markets in the country if it were allowed to go forward.

The companies have retorted that the merger is necessary to compete with upstarts like Google. They say that many customers will end up with faster Internet speeds after the deal goes through and would be benefitted by Comcast’s commitment to treating all Web traffic equally, a condition of its 2011 purchase of NBC Universal.

Ultimately, the matter is in the hands of regulators at the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice who are currently reviewing the terms of the deal and could have a final determination later this year.