Over a year ago, we explored the topic, “What a Merged Comcast-Time Warner Cable Could Mean for Small Businesses.”
In it, we said:
“One issue that is already having a negative impact on businesses—and could worsen without more competition—is the growing gap between the speed of internet access available to most small businesses in the U.S. vs. other countries in the world where fiber optics networks are more widely available.”
Fast forward to today.
Reported first by Bloomberg.com, Comcast Corp. is dropping its proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. due to growing resistance in Washington. This week, U.S. Federal Communications Commission staff joined lawyers at the Justice Department opposing the transaction. FCC officials told representatives of the two biggest U.S. cable companies on Wednesday that they are leaning toward concluding the merger doesn’t help consumers.
According to the New York Times, the issue we focused on when the deal was announced is precisely the issue that brought down the merger.
Quote via NYTimes.com:
“In this sense, it didn’t really matter if Comcast and Time Warner’s cable markets overlapped. The real issue was broadband.”
Bottom line for small business
As we have reported over the past 18 months, having access to the internet at speeds over 100 times faster than what is today called broadband will open up a wave of innovation in the ways we work, the products we can produce and the relationships we can sustain.
And because of the FCC’s recent decision in favor of net neutrality, access to such speeds will be available to small businesses at the same price as it’s available to giant corporations (in much the same way that any car, whether owned by a large company or small, can drive over a toll-bridge for the same price).
As most often is the case, competition is good.
Do you believe the acquisition would have benefitted small businesses? Add your point-of-view in the comments below.