By: Lauren Fabrizi
The biggest of the big could be getting bigger. The nation's two largest cable companies have agreed to merge.
Comcast announced Thursday it would buy Time Warner Cable for more than $45 billion in stock. If the deal is approved, it would affect more than 30 million cable subscribers across the country.
Some consumer advocates believe less competition will drive up cable bills. It was a hot topic on the morning network talk shows.
"It's going to end up hitting you in the wallet," Craig Aaron, president of Free Press said. "If you don't like dealing with the cable guy, just imagine the cable guy on steroids."
"There's no overlap, no reduction in competition," Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO said. "We don't have any zip codes where we do business in the same zip code."
With Time Warner Cable being the only cable company here in Lincoln, what does this mean for its customers?
Channel 8 Eyewitness News spoke with Michael Pedelty, the Time Warner Cable spokesperson for the Midwest, over the phone.
"Comcast is very committed to providing a great experience and great Internet experience," Pedelty said. "They're really into mobility, which is something we're all really working towards."
So what can Lincoln customers expect for rates? Will they go up? Will they stay the same? Pedelty said right now, it's too soon to tell.
He also said if the merger goes through, customers can still expect to see everything they're being offered now with Time Warner: cable, phone and Internet services, videos on demand, streaming video capability and new perks, too, like the fastest in-home Wi-Fi service in the country.
"What customers can expect is more innovation, and because of the new ability and scale of the company, they're able to do even more," Pedelty said.
If approved, the merger is expected to take effect by the end of 2014. It's pending an approval from both Comcast and Time Warner Cable shareholders, as well as the FCC.
If you'd like to voice your opinion on the merger, visit the FCC's contact page here.