Call it today's other major acquisition news.
This morning Google announced their purchase of Motorola Mobility. At $12.5 billion, it is their largest acquisition ever. Also announced today, after a swirl of rumors, was the acquisition of Insight Communications by industry giant Time Warner Cable.
This means that the nation's second largest cable provider is purchasing the ninth for $3 billion. Time Warner Cable will add about 750,000 customers to their current base of about 12 million. Insight, which serves areas in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio has 537,000 high-speed internet subscribers and 679,000 cable video subscribers.
According to a press release -
Time Warner Cable believes that, after incurring onetime costs and capital expenditures, it will create annual cost efficiencies of approximately $100 million through programming expense savings and other cost reductions. The company expects to realize the bulk of the savings within two years of closing. Furthermore, with Insight’s digital conversion and DOCSIS 3.0 rollout behind it, Time Warner Cable expects Insight will have lower capital requirements of 10%-12% of revenues upon completion of the acquisition.
How are people responding to this merger on the interwebs? The feedback on Twitter is mixed, but a definite majority seem to be less than thrilled.
I've heard some bad things about Time Warner cable. Anyone care to corroborate or refute?
@njmeyer I've heard terrible things about Time Warner. That's what they have in Ohio right? Maybe prices go down.
Well, Time Warner bought Insight. Related: I have a feeling I'll be dropping my cable service soon.
While it's true that any large company is going to have its share of negative feedback, it seems like Time Warner Cable receives a little more criticism than other companies. Like Verizon, Time Warner Cable's customer service is sort of a long-running joke on the internet.
A quick scan of any complaints board or consumer advocate website will yield plenty of posts about the way Time Warner handles customers. "Worst Customer Service Ever!" is not an uncommon post title. The newest release from the American customer satisfaction Index gives Time Warner a score of 59, which is tied for the industry low. The ACSI has been reporting yearly on consumer's impressions of companies since 1994.
Consumerist has been holding their "Worst Company is America" Tournament for 6 years and this year Time Warner Cable made it all the way to the sweet 16, getting edged out by BP in that match-up. They pick the entrants in that contest based on nominations from readers.
Of course, Insight Customers have their fair share of complaints. And most Insight customers that are unhappy about this acquisition are not basing their opinions on first-hand experience with Time Warner, but more on what they've heard. This tweet might sum things up quite nicely -
i'm not even sure why, but i really hate time warner
Is all of this internet chatter about Time Warner unwarranted? Or is there some truth to it? What are your thoughts about the acquisition? Let us know in the comments.