April 1, National I Hate Cable Companies Day!
There is a grassroots movement currently taking place on Facebook that you should know about. This is a protest against the Cable providers across the United States. The purpose of this protest is to bring attention to the actions that they have engaged in recently.
Here is a copy of the protest letter we obtained:
"It is the belief of the undersigned that cable providers have conducted themselves in business practices that can easily be defined as 'monopolistic' in nature:
An economic advantage held by one or more persons or companies deriving from the exclusive power to carry on a particular business or trade or to manufacture and sell a particular item, thereby suppressing competition and allowing such persons or companies to raise the price of a product or service substantially above the price that would be established by a free market.
Evidence of practices would include actively participating in negotiations with cable and broadcast affiliates that raises cable prices four times faster than inflation. Data caps that are geared at either limiting the amount of services or dramaticly increasing costs that can be obtained from outside sources like Netflix or Amazon on devices such as Apple TV or Roku and hidden fees such as fees for cable boxes or routers/modems that can often fluctuate without notifications to the subscribers. Often these prices can result in several hundred dollars or more per household per year and cable/internet providers make it impossible for customers to purchase their own equipment or use equipment that they already own.
Recent attempts to merge larger cable companies such as Time Warner with Charter or Comcast and the resulting outcry from the general public only highlight the concern the general public has regarding the Cable providers and the influence that they have and despite their claims that a larger company would permit the savings that they would en-cure with negotiation powers would be passed along to its consumers are being doubted, and the reasons are simple:
They are only negotiating with themselves in the same way that General Motors would negotiate with Chevrolet to get a lower price of the product they already make.
Time Warner cable, already one of the largest cable providers in the United States, currently owns several of the cable networks that are often being negotiated. All of the Ted Turner affiliates such as CNN, Headline News, TBS and TNT are owned by Time Warner. Comcast currently owns Univision, USA, SYFY and many other well known cable networks. Between Time Warner and Comcast they already own a significant number of local affiliates in the largest markets like New York, LA and San Francisco.
That brings them dangerously close to being classified as a cartel:
A combination of producers of any product joined together to control its production, sale, and price, so as to obtain a Monopoly and restrict competition in any particular industry or commodity. Cartels exist primarily in Europe, being illegal in the United States under antitrust laws. Also, an association by agreement of companies or sections of companies having common interests, designed to prevent extreme or Unfair Competition and allocate markets, and to promote the interchange of knowledge resulting from scientific and technical research, exchange of patent rights, and standardization of products.
It is the belief of the undersigned that the only true way to insure competition within this growing industry is to break up the businesses involved so that no cable provider can own or be owned by an internet provider or movie studio. Only then will the internet flourish by having the restrictions that are currently imposed by corporate giants who have a vested interest in seeing it limited."
If you have had enough of high prices and limited choices and would like to join in on this protest, plesase call your cable providers, and let them know how you feel.
You can also call or write the FCC at the phone numbers or email address listed below.
AT&T UVERSE: 800-288-2020
Dish Network: 855-399-5288
Charter Cable: 877-906-9121
Time Warner: 800-892-4357
Contact FCC: 1-888-225-5322
Email Chairman Tom Wheeler: https://www.fcc.gov/general/email-chairman-tom-wheeler
Don't Miss: Let's Urge Congress to Break Up Big Cable