Protest Planned for Comcast Shareholder Meeting

Consumers Union, others to promote their opposition to proposed Time Warner Cable deal

According to Consumers Union, a group of organizations and local residents plan to protest the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger by staging a "people's vote" outside the Comcast shareholder meeting in Philadelphia May 21, complete with signs, balloons and ballot boxes.

That vote on whether the government should approve the merger won't be hard to predict. Consumers Union says 400,000 signatures have been gathered on a petition opposing the merger.

"If approved, the merger would create a cable TV and Internet giant with unprecedented power and consumers can expect higher prices, fewer choices, and even worse customer service," said Consumers Union in announcing the protest, which is planned for 10 a.m.

Comcast has argued that the merger is necessary so it will have the scale to better compete with national content distributors including satellite operators and online providers and that the deal will result in better service and no reduction in competition.

“The combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable will bring significant benefits to consumers, including faster Internet speeds, net neutrality protection, a more reliable and more secure network, low-cost Internet access and more diverse and independent programming to millions of additional Americans across the nation," said Comcast spokesman John Demming. "It will also bring more investment and technology and new services to more homes and businesses. The transaction is a win for consumers."