“I am very troubled by the proposed Comcast / Time Warner Merger. If the merger goes through, the company would control roughly three quarters of the nation’s cable and internet service. They will also be one of the largest content providers and news distributors in the world. Less competition in these three areas will be bad for consumers, bad for the future of the internet, and bad for democracy.
While the City does not have the power to prevent Comcast’s $45 billion purchase of Time Warner, we can take steps to make sure competition is stronger in Seattle. One step will be to evaluate our City’s relationship with Comcast. The City’s franchise agreement with Comcast expires January 20, 2016. As part of the renewal process, the Office of Cable will conduct a review of Comcast’s relationship with the City. Part of the review process will include a telephone survey of Seattle residents; an on-line survey; community meetings; and focus groups. I strongly urge Comcast customers to participate in this process once it launches. If we determine Comcast has not lived up to their obligations, the City of Seattle will not renew the franchise agreement.
Democracy thrives when information is readily available to anyone regardless of their economic status. Media monopolies threaten the free flow of information, make competition nearly impossible, and put too much control into one company’s hands. I hope regulators prevent this merger, while I do my part to foster competition in Seattle.”