Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar not thrilled about prospect of Comcast-Time Warner merger

franken klobuchar rect.jpg
Today, Comcast, the largest cable and high-speed internet service provider in Minnesota and the U.S., announced that it plans to buy Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable provider, for just over $45 billion.

RELATED: Al Franken rips into FCC approval of Comcast-NBC merger

But that news doesn't sit well with Minnesota's tag-team of senators, as both Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar expressed concern about how the deal might impact consumers.

"I have serious reservations about this proposed transaction, which would consolidate the largest and second largest cable providers in America," Franken wrote in a letter to FEB Chairman Thomas Wheller, Attorney General Eric Holder, and FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

"Unfortunately, a handful of cable providers dominate the market, leaving consumers with little choice but to pay high bills for often unsatisfactory service," he continued. "I am concerned that Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner would only make things worse for consumers."

Klobuchar released a statement that is characteristically a bit more measured than Franken's remarks, but critical nonetheless.

"This proposed merger could have a significant impact on the cable industry and affect consumers across the country," Klobuchar said. "As chair of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, I plan to hold a hearing to carefully scrutinize the details of this merger and its potential consequences for both consumers and competition."

We called Klobuchar's office hoping to hear more about her concerns, but a staffer told us most congressional offices were all but shuttered today thanks to the snownami hitting the East Coast.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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52 comments
David Silverboon Carlson
David Silverboon Carlson

UPDATE: Well I have received a telephone call today from Comcast who said was from the Executive Office and I want to reiterate that a positive solution was not met for the customer (myself) and it seemed all the Comcast Executive cared about was updating her notes and doing a update even though attempting to address the problem, personally to me, just came up with excuses of the said deposits and policies with nothing further. I addressed further issues and advanced investigations made by me and other sources. We'll see if anyone further contacts me for I will not stop until a Positive outcome is achieved, Comcast... For the record, I expected better from a Executive from Comcast Offices instead of so called passing it on to someone else, very poor professionalism.

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

Yet they are part of a Monopoly themselves in not allowing other ideas and parties proliferate. #hypocrisy

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

But why should Amy and Al be concerned?  With this merger, all cable consumers will get MSNBC as part of their basic plan. Isn't that what Amy and Al and the party that they represent want? If you want Fox or any other news outlet that goes against the socialist grain, you will have to pay extra. This merger will only but help their political careers and agenda. 

Jason Windsperger
Jason Windsperger

Yea and I'm not thrilled they are our idiotic politicians so who cares! Stop whining about it

David Kay
David Kay

Ha-Ha-Ha Shayne, you Rush Limbaugh people crack me up.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

But they're ok with a lying dictator as president ....

scottyp43
scottyp43

What most people are missing is the most places in MN only 1 cable channel can sell in the same zone. So in my town I only have 1 cable choice or satellite. Now if MN would allow 3 cable providers to operate in one zone or 100 you would see more aggressive pricing. So this never will not really affect us much as they currently cannot complete in the same zones.

So if we allowed competition we would see prices. But some how or government thought its best to allow cable companies to have no competition it gives us what we have now.

Allow every company to sell everywhere that's how our prices will go down.

Todd Ray
Todd Ray

to big to fail? How would be see it?

Jay Andler
Jay Andler

Not sure why other vendors aren't in the Twin Cities...is Comcast preventing Verizon or Cox or other "cable" providers from entering? If they let it merge, then they better force Comcast to open the market so the other competitors can enter and provide competition. I'd gladly drop Comcast for Verizon/Fios service or Cox. I want choice...just like cell service.

Irving Swanson
Irving Swanson

maybe at the end of his term franken will get his face out of obamas crotch

Matt Mortensen
Matt Mortensen

I'm not a fan of Franken, had Dean Barkley not ran against him and Norm Coleman, Norm Coleman would have won. But that wouldn't be good either since good ol' Norm never has his priorities in order. Like all Republicans, they always get there pockets filled first.

Matt Mortensen
Matt Mortensen

I don't agree with the merger of two t.v. Giants, it just means that if you have cable threw comcast expect to see your rates go up 20%. Slowly but surely Capitalism is destroying this Country

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

Franken was the 60th vote for Obamacare, Klobuchar has done NOTHING noteworthy in her tenure. My assessment is fairly sound.

Matt Mortensen
Matt Mortensen

It means Amy is adored by both Republicans and Democrats alike, and when she does something it generally is in the best interest of all Minnesotans

Tim Williams
Tim Williams

@Nathan Conley what the hell does "solid track record" even mean??

Nathan Conley
Nathan Conley

I'll have an award shipped to you for that depth.

Nathan Conley
Nathan Conley

Awesome. So your opinion is their pictures look dumb.

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

Your opinion Nathan, just like I am entitled to mine. See how that works? Good!

Bruce Walker
Bruce Walker

Who cares what these two think . They have did NOTHING for this state .

Nathan Conley
Nathan Conley

Amy has a solid track record. Fairly moderate. Al is liberal but competent. Your point? Other than a childish one.

Bill Boudewyns
Bill Boudewyns

Let's hear the libertarians cry "free market" in the face of this monopoly. Idiots.

Michael J. Kraemer
Michael J. Kraemer

Comcast is already a Monopoly by itself, they dont need any more power over cable and internet prices.

silverboon
silverboon

I am paying $85.53 a month for BLAST internet and so far this was after paying the first bill of $101.62... And still Comcast will not honor any additional service to me without more money in form of a deposit.

Arkadi
Arkadi

I don't think you understand how elections work.

Onan
Onan

@WhiteMatt  You think Fox News is an actual "news" outlet. That's precious.

linksteroh
linksteroh

@410lulu @redhed67: Right, it's bad enough now with Corps owning most of media, and they know how to keep us all divided.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

Shayne. Don't worry. You will still have Hannity and Rusbo and Michele Bachmann to do your thinking for you. 

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

From my very brief investigation into cable this is the gist of it. Your city is a member of a cable commission with other cities around it. They take bids from companies like Comcast, Cox, and Charter to provide cable service to your area. The winning company gets the whole territory to themselves since they also pay to maintain and upgrade lines. Until this way of doing cable business is done away with we get no choice and only half assed competition.

asdf123
asdf123

maybe that child you are holding will get full blown AIDS

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

It's not the only force that is, it takes Democrats to partner with them in doing so.

bboy
bboy

just like all your teachers have did nothing to teach you proper grammer!

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

Like those medical device taxes that obliterate the competition.   These two are like all Democrats, Central command and control.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@Onan Like the Medical Device Tax.  These two Dumocrats love monopolies and the difficulties their policies create for the little innovative companies.  

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

If Fox isn't a "news" outlet, then neither is CNN or MSNBC

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@asdf123 Go back to making yourself feel better by watching an abortion ya ugly freak. 

Onan
Onan

@bboy   - Not sure if serious...

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@mingtran  More deep thinking from ming tran. Even Fox news admits it is not a new organization.But mingtran knows better. Another example of mingtrans  MENSA qualifying intelligence.

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