Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Wireless Networking Communications Government United States Technology

Comcast and Charter Agree Not To Compete Against Each Other In Wireless (arstechnica.com) 70

Comcast and Charter announced an agreement to cooperate in their plans to sell mobile phone service, an agreement that also forbids each company from making wireless mergers and acquisitions without the other's consent for one year. "That agreement could stoke Wall Street speculation among investors and analysts that the two largest U.S. cable companies together could decide to make a play for a carrier like T-Mobile U.S. Inc. or Sprint Corp.," wrote The Wall Street Journal. Ars Technica reports: The deal could violate antitrust law, said Harold Feld, an attorney and senior VP of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. "One of the basic ideas of antitrust law is that when companies that compete with each other, or could compete with each other, make an explicit agreement to not compete with each other, that violates the antitrust laws," Feld told Ars today. "Agreeing to coordinate with each other to avoid competition is expressly a violation of the antitrust laws." But that doesn't mean Comcast and Charter won't be able to follow through with their plan. It's impossible to say with absolute certainty whether any specific agreement violates antitrust law, and "both Comcast and Charter have very good lawyers," Feld said. Comcast and Charter have a combined 47 million internet subscribers, dominating the US market for high-speed broadband, but they do not compete against each other in any city or town. The Comcast/Charter cooperation agreement fits in nicely with Comcast's mobile plans, because the company intends to sell smartphone data plans only to customers who also have Comcast home Internet service. Comcast's mobile service is scheduled to be available by the end of June, while Charter has said it intends to offer similar service in 2018.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Comcast and Charter Agree Not To Compete Against Each Other In Wireless

Comments Filter:
  • In other words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Comcast and Charter agree to continue price fixing

  • We will just agree to suck in our respective markets!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2017 @05:20PM (#54380663)

    Isn't this blatant anti-competitive behavior by two near monopolies???

    • It would have been about four months back.

      • >"It would have been about four months back."

        No it wouldn't have. Cable monopolies have been around for eons and they were just as strong under the Dems and would have retained that strength under Hillary.. Funny how so many people want to blame all these long-standing issues on recent politics.

        Monopolies are anti-free market. It is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Oh, by the way, the Sherman Antitust Act was passed under a Republican president.

        • President's don't pass laws. Don't feel bad for not understanding though... Trump didn't get it either.
          • >"President's don't pass laws. Don't feel bad for not understanding though."

            That's why I said "passed under" and not "passed by". But don't feel bad for not understanding English.

            • The President is irrelevant as to what laws are passed. Now if you said he didn't veto a bill or his veto was overruled, then it would have been a relevant comment. My English is fine.
              • >"The President is irrelevant as to what laws are passed. Now if you said he didn't veto a bill or his veto was overruled, then it would have been a relevant comment."

                The fact that it was passed under a President means it wasn't vetoed. And that in turn means the President signed it into law (and did participate/approve in the process by not vetoing). So you are wrong, the President certainly is very relevant as to what laws are passed, because they cannot be passed if they are vetoed (unless overridde

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          Monopolies are not anti-free market. They are the natural result of a free market. "Free" in this context means free of regulation and oversight. In such an environment, monopolies are practically inevitable.

          • They are anti-free market because they destroy choice and freedom for new companies to compete in the market. Yes, they are inevitable because we don't have the theoretical "perfect consumer" (an economics term), which is why anti-trust measures are necessary. So I guess it is which "freedom" that matters- the consumer or the company.

        • by gtall ( 79522 )

          So what if Sherman was passed under a Republican president. The Republicans elected Trump, want to bet whether his administration would write a new one and push it through Congress? Would Trump even read it? Can he read?

    • Isn't this blatant anti-competitive behavior by two near monopolies???

      Yes.

      But the FTC does not currently have authority over Internet service, as part of the "hands off the Internet" legislation intended to keep regulation and taxation from stifling it.

      I have been arguing for years that the FTC, rather than the FCC, is the right agency for handling things like Network Neutrality, because the pathologies we see are almost entirely the result of either monopolistic or anticompetitive behavior, and that (if it

    • Yeah, both CEOs need to be locked in jail for attempting to violate the public's trust.

      Fining the corporations don't work. The actual people at the top need to be held accountable.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If this is what works best for them and their shareholders, then it is what works best for customers. After all, it's not like you NEED to use their services. If people didn't like this and en masse cancelled their plans, then they would change their behaviour.

    It's the free market, and democracy exists. Just as majorities are needed to pass a law, majorities are needed to steer corporate behaviour.

    • >"If this is what works best for them and their shareholders, then it is what works best for customers. After all, it's not like you NEED to use their services."

      I don't know about you, but I *need* internet service just like I need electricity, water, sewer, and phone services.

    • You are roman_mir AICMFP.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2017 @05:28PM (#54380715)

    Doesn't anyone remember the Concast / Time Warner Collusion from about 10 or so years ago ... they TRADED infrastructure in order to not compete and agreed to no encroach on each others territory?

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @05:29PM (#54380717)

    Almost all cable companies are monopolies in their respective areas... which is already extremely anti-competitive. Don't like your cable company's pricing, service, or policies? Well too F***ing bad! Your choice is pretty much zip (most areas don't have any other reasonable broadband option, and we are not just talking rural).

    The last thing on earth consumers want or need is more "bundling" and "introductory pricing" and cross-market gobbling.

  • Remember when companies would at least pretend to care about the customer?

    Now they're focused on giving good customer service to competitors over their customers.

  • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @05:35PM (#54380777)
    This is why we don't need any sort of oversight or Network Neutrality - we can clearly trust these companies to have our best interests at heart, because they're going to compete with each other in a robust marketplace!
    /s
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @05:42PM (#54380843)
    Answer: there's a Republican in the Whitehouse. Seriously, elections have consequences. Especially when you give power to a party whose Central plank is small government and minimal regulations. For the last time: That doesn't mean "only the regulations I don't like"
    • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @06:00PM (#54380965)

      >"Answer: there's a Republican in the Whitehouse. Seriously, elections have consequences

      Cable monopolies have been around for eons and they were just as strong under the Dems and would have retained that strength under Hillary.. Funny how so many people want to blame all these long-standing issues on recent politics.

      Monopolies are anti-free market. It is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Oh, by the way, the Sherman Antitust Act was passed under a Republican president...

      • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @06:29PM (#54381123)
        this is colluding right out in the open. They outright announced it. This is the kind of thing you don't normally talk about. You'd expect regulators to come down like a ton of bricks on this stuff.

        No, this is very much a Republican issue. The Sherman Anti-Trust act was passed in 1890 before the party realignments changed who was right and who was left in the 30s. And monopolies are very free market depending on your philosophy. A truly free market is one free from government interference where only the strong survive. But even without that philosophy the Republican party has been championing less and less regulation for 40+ years. If you're going to push for less regulation you're going to get it. My point is you don't get to pick and choose when you've made "less regulation" a fundamental part of your party's platform.
      • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Monday May 08, 2017 @06:43PM (#54381213)

        Cable monopolies have been around for eons and they were just as strong under the Dems and would have retained that strength under Hillary.

        Wheeler would have stayed on as head for at least a bit [bna.com]. Net neutrality was protected under Obama and nearly immediately killed under GOP rule. Do you have a reason to suggest Hillary would have been the same aside from an insistence that democrats must be as bad as republicans despite evidence to the contrary?

        Monopolies are anti-free market. It is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue.

        In theory. In theory, communism works. In theory.

        In reality, "free market" should join santa claus on the list of things adults realize aren't real.

        Oh, by the way, the Sherman Antitust Act was passed under a Republican president...

        Different definition of "republican party" as you should know from high school. [wikipedia.org]

    • It is not illegal because the summary and main links are fake news.
      This is not an agreement to not complete it is an agreement to work together on technologies and standards in the areas of creating common operating platforms; technical standards development and harmonization; device forward and reverse logistics; and emerging wireless technology platforms.
      So get over your hate and look at reality.
    • Especially when you give power to a party whose Central plank is small government and minimal regulations. For the last time: That doesn't mean "only the regulations I don't like"

      No, that's the only thing it ever means when a career politician claims that they are against excessive regulation.

  • Capitalism. The exact opposite of the White House Russian operatives single carrier model.

    Ask yourself, who is a capitalist?

    And who is a Russian operative Mercantalist that hates Capitalism?

  • ...they have agreed on another way to fuck their customers over.
  • They might be really hurting themselves here. Continuing deals like this will make regulation pro government officials go on a rampage. The problem is with our current leadership this is probably seen as wonderful news. If they continue to act like the old phone companies, the government is going to step in eventually.
  • Can we nuke Comcast?

You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page

Working...