Television, The Phone, And The Internet Essay

Television, The Phone, And The Internet Essay

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Television, the phone, and the internet. These inventions have uniquely shaped the 20th century and have led to the 21st century being known as the age of information. These services are the primary ways we communicate, express ourselves, and reach out in our ever increasing global world. In the United States, these services are provided by a number of different firms, chief among them is Comcast, being the largest provider of Cable and internet in America, and a large telephone provider. Next to it stands Time Warner Cable, the second largest provider of cable in the United States. The decision for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable for forty-five billion dollars in 2014 has led to many criticizing the merger, calling it a monopoly. Others have called the whole cable system an oligopoly. For it to be a monopoly or an oligopoly, it would have to fit their respective categories. The merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable would not create a true monopoly, but would give it significant market power because it has monopoly resources and can be considered a natural monopoly. It will also further its power in a market dominated by oligopolies. People argue that it is not a danger to Americans for this merger to happen, but when one looks at the practices Comcast already uses, it paints a very different picture.
A monopoly easily forms when one firm is in total control of a resource. If a firm is the only one that can provide a product or service, they have no competition and are considered a monopoly. This kind of resource is called a monopoly resource because of its ability to allow its owner market power. In the world of cable providers, no one provider owns a majority in the market for cable television. Yet they face little comp...

... middle of paper ... to be less, and innovation is going to be stifled in the United States, where “Comcast [has] no qualms about letting its customers suffer lousy speeds and service” (Aaron, Turner).
Ultimately, the market for cable television is an oligopoly. The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable would make it the largest provider of cable in America and give it unprecedented market power and allow it to continue to pursue profits and the cost of consumers. While it would not be a monopoly, it would be giving the company dangerous power. Already Comcast has control of one of the largest media providers in America, NBC. It has significant control of internet as well, and has made Netflix pay Comcast to have faster speeds. The question now isn’t if the merger will be bad for business, it is if the United States government will make the right choice for consumers.

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