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February 12, 2004

Saving the Mouse

It would be a bad thing if cable giant Comcast takes over Disney.

I'm a greate believer that the best way to protect competition and diversity on television and on the Internet is to make sure that those who control the wires don't own any of the content being distributed. That way, they won't have an incentive to promote some content at the expense of other content.

In the ideal, the law would require such unbiased distribution of content, much as the old Bell system as a common carrier was required to allow anyone to call anyone else on their system.

But short of that regulation, which has not been imposed on the cable companies, preventing a merger of content and wires is of key importance.

It's bad enough that Time-Warner has monopoly control of customers in their region-- at least the WB is too minor a content player to create that much bias in content distribution. But Disney/ABC has massive interests in television, both broadcast channels and cable channels, and giving them control of Comcast is a recipe for self-interested censorship and bias against content rivals in the areas where Comcast has monopoly control of customers.

A bad idea-- the merger should be blocked.

Posted by Nathan at February 12, 2004 08:25 AM