States jump aboard Justice Department probe of Comcast-Time Warner merger

comcast fires back against netflixs poor viewability claims time warner merger

Florida and an unknown number of other states will join in the Justice Department’s efforts to determine if Comcast’s plan to merge with Time Warner Cable is admissible under U.S. antitrust law, according to a report by Reuters today.

In an email to Reuters, the Florida attorney general’s office claimed involvement in “a multistate group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division.” When states become involved in matters such as these, it can generate additional pressure for a favorable outcome, but it also means the Justice Department has more resources at hand. Historically, this kind of collaboration is designed to ensure a transaction’s compliance with antitrust laws.

The monstrous merger deal has garnered the close attention of many watchdogs, lawmakers, and consumer groups — and consumers themselves aren’t exactly thrilled with the news, either. As we pointed to last month, the two companies are two of the most despised in the country.

Consumers don’t always just sit and hope for a better service provider to come along, as demonstrated by Lafayette, LA in 2004 — history could very well repeat itself if this deal goes down and leaves customers wanting. And with the Fiber project already taking off in Kansas City, MO, Austin, TX and Provo, UT (and upcoming plans for installation in Portland, Nashville, San Antonio, Phoenix, Atlanta and more), Google now has an affordable –  and, some may argue, superior –  product that customers may look to when Behemoth Cable can’t give them what they desire.

Customer satisfaction and Comcast’s argument aside, the deal as currently proposed would essentially allow the unnaturally enlarged Comcast beast (which would occupy roughly one-third of the high-speed Internet market after all is said and done) to write the rules for fees, subscription tiers, bandwidth standards, etc. Customers would have even less of a choice than they already do in the scarce market.

In short, it won’t really benefit anyone other than Comcast and the swallowed-up Time Warner.

Home Theater

There isn’t a single good reason to buy Apple’s new AirPods

After nearly a three-year wait, Apple has finally announced a new version of its popular true wireless headphones, the AirPods. We had high hopes for vast improvements, but that's not what we got.

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Home Theater

Kanopy privacy breach reveals which movies members have been streaming

Free video streaming site, Kanopy, has been inadvertently publishing millions of lines of web log data for days, according to a new security report. A bad actor could guess a person's identity and see what they've been watching.