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Our View: Customers will pay price in Comcast-Time Warner deal

Case in point: As cable TV became popular decades ago, cities were allowed to grant monopolies to cable providers. Forty-something years since the monopolies were granted, cable companies are among the most despised – but profitable – entities in America. They had a nominal responsibility to hold cable providers responsible to citizens, but few cities ever took that seriously. Roughly 55 percent of American households rely on cable, often required to subscribe to channels they don’t want and pushed into bundled services on equipment that is a generation behind what is used in Japan, Europe and Korea. The cities were paid “franchise” fees. Private monopolies are like deals with the devil. Everything works fine for awhile, but eventually there’s a price to be paid. Wires were strung to millions of homes and viewers happily plugged into dozens of new channels. So, in Modesto, Merced and Oakdale your “choice” is Comcast.
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