Comcast’s $42.5 billion plan to acquire Time Warner Cable is all but dead at this point, but that doesn’t mean America’s Internet is problem-free. The merger of the nation’s two largest cable companies would have undoubtedly made things worse, but even without that merger, the United States has a depressingly uncompetitive Internet market, with a handful of massive corporations controlling the vast majority of the market and actively working to ensure that they’re the only viable options out there.
It seemed inevitable. Bloomberg is reporting that Comcast will officially abandon its $42.5 billion pursuit of Time Warner Cable on Friday, killing a deal that was contentious from the outset, to merge America’s biggest and second biggest cable companies. This follows a steady stream of leaks suggesting a groundswell of opposition to the deal was building within both the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, the two government agencies that needed to approve it. Comcast has not responded to a request for comment from Quartz about the status of the deal. The apparent collapse of the merger would be a victory for the people that have campaigned against it, including consumer advocacy groups, the Democratic Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken and Netflix. But before the champagne is popped, it’s worth remembering that the US internet market is still deeply uncompetitive. A December 2014 analysis of the US broadband market by the Department of Commerce found that 44% of Americans have just two options to purchase 10 Mbps service, and 72% have just two options to purchase 25 Mbps service, the new standard speed for “broadband.”