Time Warner Cable customers beg regulators to block sale to Comcast

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New York is shaping up as a major battleground for Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

While the $45.2 billion merger will be scrutinized by federal officials, it also needs approval at the state level.

TWC has 2.2 million cable TV, Internet, and phone customers in 1,150 New York communities, and hundreds of them have called on the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to block the sale to Comcast. Comcast doesn't compete against TWC for subscribers, and its territory in New York is limited but includes a VoIP phone service offered to residential and business customers in 10 communities.

"Both Time Warner Cable and Comcast already have monopolies in each and every territory in which they do business today, and combining the companies will reinforce those individual territorial monopolies under a single corporate umbrella, with NBC-Universal thrown in to boot," resident Frank Brice argued in a comment to the PSC posted. Brice complained that "The constant, yearly rate increases imposed on us by Time Warner Cable are and continue to be outrageous, outsized, and unwarranted. "Given where I live in the mid-Hudson valley, 100 miles from New York City and 50 miles from Albany, I cannot get over-the-air TV broadcasts, and I have no choice in my cable-TV provider unless I choose a satellite provider." Brice is "so unhappy with Time Warner Cable" that he buys DSL Internet and phone service from Verizon, which hasn't built FiOS in his area.

Brice's comment is similar to many others submitted by residents to the PSC's merger proceeding.

Time Warner Cable customers beg regulators to block sale to Comcast