Michigan Comcast Customers to be Transitioned Into a New Company

The majority of Comcast cable and internet services in Michigan could transition over to a new company in the coming months, Comcast announced earlier this week.

Comcast announced recently that they would be creating a new, publicly traded company to handle the service of about 2.5 million customers in the Michigan area. Comcast subscribers in Southwest Michigan will not be affected by the change. The change could also affect customers in other markets, but final announcements have not been made.

The new company will team up Comcast and Charter Communications Inc. Charter Communications is currently a Comcast competitor, but a new holding company will be formed between the two companies. Comcast will hold a majority stake in the company, and Charter will hold a minority in the new public company. Time Warner stakeholders will also be involved, if the Time Warner merger is approved.

Why a New Company?

The new plan comes on the heels of news that a merger between Comcast and Time Warner could be in trouble due to regulatory issues. The spin-off company would help Comcast clear regulation and allow the merger to take place. Before Comcast offered $45.2 billion to merge with Time Warner, Charter had made an offer, as well. Charter’s offer has not been made public.

By breaking the company up and going into business with Charter, Comcast is effectively lowering the amount of costumers it has on the books, which allows for it to pass regulatory antitrust laws and regulation. By moving consumers over to a different company, Comcast will not be considered a monopoly, and thus the Time Warner merger can go through as planned. 

The Time Warner merger would give Comcast control of much of the eastern seaboards cable service. Time Warner currently services about 11 million subscribers. Comcast currently services about 22 million subscribers across the country.

How Will it Affect Service?

Right now, there is no word on how the switch will affect customers, or if customers can expect a change to their current service or bills. The new company is not set in stone, either, just yet. The creation of the new company will largely hinge on whether the Time Warner deal is approved, and completed.

If the Time Warner merge is not approved, a new company will not be created and Comcast subscribers in the Michigan and elsewhere will keep their regular service. If the merger is accepted, however, the spin-off company will be necessary and will take effect immediately following the approved merger. There is no word, as of yet, what the new company will be called or how it will affect the current services provided by either Comcast and Charter Communications.

Comcast Services and History

Comcast is currently the largest communications company in the world. Founded in 1963, it has grown exponentially over the years, and now has 22 million subscribers across the United States. The company is known for buying out or merging with large companies in an attempt to acquire more subscribers, and more offshoots into the communications and television industries. Comcast currently owns AT&T broadband (but no other parts of AT&T). It also acquired NBCUniversal a decade ago.

Controversy

As well as the natural reaction many have to a huge company getting larger, Comcast has grown quickly and with great success. Yet, the company is not without its troubles. Many consumers have taken to the internet over the years to voice their frustrations.

In 2004 and 2007 the company had the lowest customer satisfaction rating of any company or government agency within the United States. Since then, however, customer satisfaction has increased and it appears the company has streamlined its customer service process to be more efficient and helpful. 

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