Comcastic Adventures: Coming to Everyone?

It’s difficult, even for me, to wrap my head around the scale and scope of the merger-in-progress between Comcast and NBC/Universal. I’ll leave it to Harold Feld, who comprehensively (and in eminently-readable fashion) analyzes the implications of this deal.
Quoth Feld, “In ideological terms, it is rather like Vatican City joining the Arab League.” Distinctively, it’s the first merger where historical enemies in the Big Media marketplace are now combining. The implications are massive; Comcast’s promises of the merger’s benefits clearly ring hollow.
The corporate maneuverings to make the marriage happen have occurred so quickly that media-reformers in D.C. are playing a ferocious game of defense to put regulatory brakes on this deal.
As a Comcast customer, who supposedly stands to gain an enormous menu of (potentially exclusive) content out of the deal, I am not happy, but fearful. I’ve had my fill (and then some) of Comcast’s terrible network management practices, shoddy customer service, and oligopolistic price increases.
What I envision happening is further restrictions on my Internet access and functionality (indeed, this is already in the works) and, if I want access to all of Comcast’s content panoply, I won’t be getting it over the Internet – I’ll need to subscribe to digital cable (which I currently don’t). I’m just a Comcast ISP customer and thus not fully committed to their full range of services. Therefore, I’m not a very profitable customer at that.
Much of this is about Comcast’s push to achieve the vaunted “triple-play” – market dominance in cable television, Internet service provision, and telephony. This merger will do wonders for the TV prong of the business: Comcast will have the veritable authority to dictate prices to all other cable providers for carriage of major networks that they heavily rely on for their own subscriber-bases. If it so chooses, Comcast could use that leverage to buy up what’s left of the cable industry by starving its competitors of content.
The merger will already increase Comcast’s sizeable footprint within the existing television audience (with projected ownership of one of every seven cable TV channels); the next logical step in securing the triple play would be to corner the rest of the U.S. cable Internet service provision infrastructure through the strategy outlined above. That would be a nightmare.
Existing Comcast ISP customers, I suspect, will be experimented upon to see just how far the new media behemoth can take content and data discrimination for the sake of profit.
The simple idea of this deal in and of itself is bad enough. Hopefully there’s enough sense in the heads of those with power to kill this monster, but at the moment I’m not hopeful.