On What Planet Is the Comcast Merger OK?
Paul Krugman thinks we've gotten too complacent about monopolies
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 17, 2014 12:44 PM CST
In this combination of Associated Press photos, the a coaxial cable is displayed in front of the Comcast Corp. logo in Philadelphia, and a Time Warner Cable truck is parked in New York.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – Paul Krugman has just two questions about Comcast's deal to buy Time Warner. "First, why would we even think about letting it go through?" he asks in the New York Times. "Second, when and why did we stop worrying about monopoly power?" The broadband industry is already so non-competitive that once upon a time regulators would have been trying to break up Comcast. "Letting it expand would have been unthinkable," Krugman writes. But the bipartisan antitrust consensus has been eroding for decades—and that's a big problem.

There's ample evidence that "monopoly power has become a significant drag on the US economy as a whole," Krugman explains. Economists have wondered throughout the recovery why corporations weren't reinvesting their record profits. But "this is exactly what you’d expect to see if a lot of those record profits represent monopoly rents." That's because monopolies suppress innovation, as the cable companies aptly demonstrate. "Why upgrade your network … when your customers have nowhere to go?" For more on why the Comcast deal specifically is so bad, click here. Or click for Krugman's full column.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Tology
Feb 18, 2014 9:45 AM CST
I agree completely.
RoKphish
Feb 18, 2014 8:41 AM CST
This merger is exactly the opposite of a good National Broadband Plan for our future. Putting this much power in the hands of one company is dangerous. This merger WILL lead to less consumer choice, less diversity and much higher cable bills. There is no way this merger can conceivably be viewed as in the public interest. Sat NO to the Comcast / Time Warner Merger http://bit.ly/1gB0ULh
iq145
Feb 17, 2014 8:50 PM CST
On What Planet Is the Comcast Merger OK? Tatooine