The shareholders of two of the most-hated companies in America have approved their merger.
According to Bloomberg, “more than 99 percent of shares were voted in favor of the deal” to sell Time Warner Cable to Comcast. On Thursday Comcast’s shareholders, by the same nearly 100 percent margin, approved the deal.
That means all that’s left in the way of the merger is regulatory approval. The deal is currently facing scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission, as well as various state regulatory agencies.
Though Comcast and Time Warner argue that the deal would not be anti-competitive, some high profile companies and organizations have come forward to publicly oppose the sale.
Netflix is one, which just recently filed an official petition with the FCC.
“The proposed merger puts at risk the end-to-end principle that has characterized the internet and been a key driver in the creation of the most important communications platform in history. Unsurprisingly, given their dominance in the cable television marketplace, the proposed merger would give Applicants the ability to turn a consumer’s internet experience into something that more closely resembles cable television. It would set up and ecosystem that calls into questions what we to date have taken for granted: that a consumer who pays for connectivity to the internet will be able to get the content she requests,” said Netflix.
The Consumers Union is another:
“Under this proposed deal, two huge companies would become a behemoth,” said Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “This has the potential to be a very bad deal for consumers. This industry is notoriously unpopular with consumers due to poor customer service, not to mention ever-increasing bills, and a deal this size doesn’t exactly convince us that things will get better.”
Comcast says that the merger will “will make life online better for more people by bringing faster Internet speeds, a more reliable and more secure network, net neutrality protection, low-cost Internet access, and programming diversity to millions of new customers across the country.”
Comcast expects the deal to close early next year, if approved. To pass the time while the FCC deliberates, Comcast and Time Warner can keep trying to give awards to FCC executives.
Image via Comcast