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Hulu Hangs In The Balance Of The $39 Billion Comcast-Sky Deal

 Hulu hangs in the balance of the $39 billion Comcast-Sky deal CNBC - 2 years ago
  • Now that Comcast has trumped Fox and Disney's bid to buy 61 percent of U.K.
  • The cable and entertainment giant outbid Fox, working in concert with Disney, by more than 1.50 pounds per share Saturday, and earned the recommendation of Sky's board.
  • In a separate transaction, Fox is selling Disney the rest of Sky as part of a $71.3 billion deal announced earlier this year.
  • Comcast expects Disney will let go of its 39 percent stake, giving CEO Brian Roberts complete ownership of the TV distributor and owner of content, including Premier League rights, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Comcast Outbids Fox In $40B Battle For Sky

Comcast outbids Fox in $40B battle for SkyKate Clark / TechCrunch - 2 years ago
  • Comcast has outbid Twenty-First Century Fox for the UK’s Sky, a final step in what’s been a years-long takeover battle between the two media conglomerates.
  • The acquisition of Sky, which has 23 million subscribers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, will give Comcast a much stronger foothold in the international market and much-needed ammo to compete with Amazon and Netflix in the streaming wars.
  • Both companies upped their offers for Sky at the settlement auction Saturday, with Comcast offering £17.28 per Sky ordinary share and Fox offering £15.67 per share.

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Comcast Accused Of Demanding $3.5 Million “punitive Ransom” From Rival

Comcast accused of demanding $3.5 million “punitive ransom” from rivalJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 2 years ago
  • A cable company that competes against Comcast says it was forced "to pay a punitive ransom totaling nearly $3.5 million" in order to keep airing Comcast-owned TV programming.
  • Wave Broadband, which has about 455,000 customers in Washington, Oregon, and California, filed a complaint against Comcast-owned networks with the Federal Communications Commission in December.
  • Demands from Comcast-owned Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) "had the effect of withholding must-have regional sports programming from the largest cable competitor to Comcast Cable on the West Coast unless Wave agreed to pay a punitive ransom totaling nearly $3.5 million," Wave wrote yesterday.
  • "The Comcast RSNs do not deny their conduct and barely attempt to defend it; instead they primarily rely on procedural defenses," Wave wrote.

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BigID Raises $14M For Data Protection Software To Help Enterprises Comply With GDPR

BigID raises $14M for data protection software to help enterprises comply with GDPRMike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE - 2 years ago
  • Israeli data protection outfit BigID Inc. is prepping for its next stage of growth after landing a $14 million round of funding.
  • The Series A round was led by ClearSky Security, Comcast Ventures and the SAP.iO Fund.
  • BigID’s main product is geared toward enterprises that want a reliable solution for protecting and managing the privacy of personal data.
  • The company and its investors are betting that its services will appeal to enterprises that will need to comply with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force in EU countries in May. “On the eve of GDPR and in the midst of endless mega breaches, we’re in a new era of personal data rights,” said Jay Leek, managing director at Clearsky Security, who has joined BigID’s board of directors.

Colorado Cities Keep Voting To Build Their Own Broadband Networks

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 2 years ago
  • So we've long mentioned how incumbent ISPs like Comcast have spent millions of dollars quite literally buying shitty, protectionist laws in more than twenty states.
  • This dance of dysfunction has been particularly interesting in Colorado, however.
  • Late last year in Fort Collins, for example, 57.15% of locals voted to open the door to community-run broadband despite Comcast and Centurylink spending nearly $1 million on misleading ads claiming the plan would cause the city to fall into disrepair.
  • "Last night's three unanimous votes begin the process of building our city's own broadband network," Glen Akins, a resident who helped lead the pro-municipal broadband campaign, told Ars today.

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Comcast Brings Home Automation Platform To 15 Million Xfinity Customers

Comcast brings home automation platform to 15 million Xfinity customers ZDNet - 2 years ago
  • Comcast on Wednesday announced it will offer free home automation capabilities to its 15 million Xfinity customers in a quest to become the leading platform to integrate smart home technologies and manage your home.

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Comcast Ventures Is Betting On Blockchain Technologies In 2018

Comcast Ventures is betting on blockchain technologies in 2018Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch - 2 years ago
  • “In 2018 we’re doubling down on blockchain,” says Gil Beyda, managing director of Comcast Ventures, the investment arm of one of the world’s largest media and telecom companies.
  • For the venture capital arm of Comcast, an investment in blockchain isn’t opportunistic, Beyda insists.
  • Comcast Ventures has been looking at blockchain technology for months, driven by Comcast and NBCUniversal’s long-standing interest in applications across several of the company’s business units.
  • In fact, internal experiments are already underway around advanced advertising alongside Disney and Cox Communications that will be used to match data sets without sharing consumer data.

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Comcast Fired 500 Despite Claiming Tax Cut Would Create Thousands Of Jobs

Comcast fired 500 despite claiming tax cut would create thousands of jobsJon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 2 years ago
  • Comcast reportedly fired about 500 salespeople shortly before Christmas, despite claiming that the company would create thousands of new jobs in exchange for a big tax cut.
  • Comcast apparently tried to keep the firings secret while it lobbied for the tax cut that was eventually passed into law by the Republican-controlled Congress and signed by President Trump in late December.
  • The former employee who talked to the Inquirer "could not be identified because of a nondisclosure agreement as part of a severance package," the article said.
  • Ars asked Comcast today if all 500 fired employees had to sign those nondisclosure agreements, but we didn't receive an answer.

Comcast & The Cable Industry Greets The New Year With A Flurry Of Price Increases – Despite The Record-setting Shift Toward Cord Cutting During 2017

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 2 years ago
  • Comcast is one of six cable providers who have informed customers that they've raised the rates for the new year, despite the record-setting shift toward cord cutting during 2017.
  • Comcast's even jacking up the obnoxious fees it's currently facing several lawsuits over.
  • That includes the "Broadcast TV fee," which is simply a part of the cost of doing business (paying for content) buried below the line, letting Comcast advertise one rate -- then sock consumers with another price entirely once the bill comes due.
  • That fee, which Comcast has insisted is just its way of "being transparent," was just $1.50 when introduced in 2013 -- and will be bumped to $8 per month in the new year...

Comcast Busted For Signing People Up For Services They Didn’t Want, Never Asked For

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 2 years ago
  • Earlier this year Washington State sued Comcast for routinely ripping off its customers.
  • The original complaint found that Comcast reps repeatedly sold the plan as being "comprehensive," covering all service calls, including those related to inside wiring, customer-owned equipment connected to Comcast services and "on-site education about products."
  • Amusingly, last week while Comcast was busy celebrating the vote to kill net neutrality, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that his office would be amending and expanding its original complaint.
  • Ferguson's office claims they were "shocked" by the level of deception that occurred at Comcast:

NAACP Fought Net Neutrality Until Last Week, Now Suddenly Supports The Idea

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 2 years ago
  • For years now we've pointed out how one of the telecom industry's sleazier lobbying tricks involves paying minority groups to parrot awful tech policy positions.
  • The NAACP has consistently been part of this problem, opposing real net neutrality protections after receiving funding from AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.
  • But now that the FCC's attack on net neutrality is getting media attention due to a massive public backlash, the NAACP has issued a statement proclaiming that the group is "deeply disappointed" with the FCC's decision to repeal rules.
  • “The internet fuels economic opportunity, civic engagement, and social action.

Comcast To Be “unleashed” On Rivals When NBC Merger Conditions Expire

Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica - 2 years ago
  • Yesterday's repeal of net neutrality rules isn't the only good news Comcast is getting these days.
  • Smaller cable companies that compete against Comcast are worried that Comcast will raise the price for carrying "must-have" programming such as regional sports networks, NBC's local TV stations, and NBC's national programming.
  • The FCC should impose new rules to essentially replace the arbitration conditions that expire in January, cable company RCN told the Federal Communications Commission in a filing this week.
  • "Because the rationale supporting harm to competition and consumers in the Comcast-NBCU Order continues, an 'unleashed' Comcast-NBCU is certain to wreak havoc in the market, undermining rival distributors and harming consumers throughout the country," RCN wrote.

Net Neutrality Vote: What Do We Do Now?

Chris Burns / SlashGear - 2 years ago
  • The FCC just voted 3/2 in favor of a declaratory ruling which effectively destroys Net Neutrality protections in the USA.
  • Former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai brought this repeal of rules to the public.
  • In reality, the “freedom” bit is there for AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Charter – not internet users.
  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says they can't be competitive because of regulations.

Comcast Reiterates A Shifting Promise Of ‘no Paid Prioritization’

Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch - 2 years ago
  • Comcast has promised before that it does not and will not engage in paid prioritization, and today the company has reiterated that stance — after being called out for having apparently weakened it over the last year.
  • Over the last few years, Comcast’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer David Cohen has written several times on the topic of net neutrality.
  • No paid prioritization – We agree, and that is our practice… We don’t prioritize Internet traffic or have paid fast lanes, and have no plans to do so.
  • Shortly afterwards, in response to feedback, he doubled down on that statement:

Court Says Google Must Unmask Person Who Left Wordless, One-Star Review Of Local Psychiatrist

Tim Cushing / Techdirt - 2 years ago
  • Back in August, psychiatrist Mark Beale filed a defamation lawsuit.
  • His target? A one-star review containing zero words written by someone using the name "Richard Hill." Beale claimed this single review, hosted by Google, had irrevocably damaged his livelihood.
  • When we first covered the lawsuit, Beale's lawyer made what seemed to be a completely ignorant statement in regards to Beale's attempt to force Google to strip the anonymity from masked one-star reviewer "Richard Hill."
  • Beale's attorney, Steven Abrams of Mount Pleasant, said he has handled several similar cases, and companies like Google, AT&T, Comcast and Verizon typically hand over identifying information of anonymous users.
  • The court notes it's not at the point where it can discuss the case on its merits -- not without a defendant being served and given a chance to respond.

This Is The Future If Net Neutrality Is Repealed; The Creeping, Costly Death Of Media Freedom

David Gorodyansky / TechCrunch - 2 years ago
  • If you’re scared of a future America without net neutrality, I want to terrify you.
  • After spending twelve years running a company that helps millions of people to break through the barriers of censorship imposed by oppressive governments, I am quite familiar with the ramifications of such repressions.
  • As a lucky American, it’s easy to say “this can’t happen here,” which is a reasonable, human gesture — we live under a democracy, but said democracy also has polarized politics and a totally different lobbying system to the rest of the world.
  • Out of the top 50 last year, the top 10 included AT&T, spending $16.3 million, and Comcast (the largest cable provider in America and owner of NBCUniversal) ranked 12th, spending $14.3 million.

Sen. Al Franken Resigns Amid Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct

FCC Boss Lies Again, Insists Net Neutrality Harms The Sick And Disabled

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 2 years ago
  • For a decade now one major ISP talking point against net neutrality is that it hurts the sick and disabled.
  • "...the Commission also should bear in mind that a more flexible approach to prioritization may be warranted and may be beneficial to the public.
  • You'll be equally shocked to learn that this has nothing to do with helping the sick -- and everything to do with making more money.
  • You'd think, as FCC Boss so immensely familiar with the rules he's so eager to dismantle, that Ajit Pai would realize that the claim that net neutrality hurts the sick is a dated and grotesque bit of scare mongering.

The FCC Tried To Hide Net Neutrality Complaints Against ISPs

Karl Bode / Techdirt - 2 years ago
  • When FCC boss Ajit Pai first proposed killing popular net neutrality protections (pdf), he insisted he would proceed "in a far more transparent way than the FCC did" when it first crafted the rules in 2015.
  • Pai's agency is already facing numerous lawsuits for refusing to disclose conversations with ISP lobbyists about the plan to kill net neutrality, refusing to disclose net neutrality complaints filed with the agency, refusing to be transparent about a DDoS attack the FCC apparently concocted to downplay the "John Oliver effect," and for ignoring FOIA requests related to its failure to police website comment fraud during the public comment period.
  • You'll recall that time and time again, Pai and friends have tried to claim that net neutrality isn't a real problem, and that the harms created by letting giants like AT&T and Comcast run roughshod over an uncompetitive broadband sector are largely hallucinated.
  • Initially the FCC spent much of this year stalling in the release of the complaints, insisting that making them public would be too "burdensome" for agency staff.

Comcast Releases XFi Advanced Gateway, Its First Ever In-house WiFi Device, With Gigabit Speeds

Nat Levy / GeekWire - 2 years ago
  • Comcast today is rolling out its first ever completely fully homegrown WiFi device, the xFi Advanced Gateway, capable of achieving gigabit speeds and up.
  • The device, first unveiled earlier this year, costs the same as any other Comcast router, $10 per month, but the company says its the most powerful and sleekest WiFi device yet.
  • “We all live and die by WiFi, and as we are moving into a world where people have got five, 10 and then 20, then 40 or more connected devices, we have to have great connectivity, great coverage, great control,” Comcast’s Chief Product Officer Chris Satchell told GeekWire in an interview.
  • The Advanced Gateway is available in all markets where it has gigabit speeds, and that includes Seattle.