Merger Protests Greet Comcast’s Annual Shareholder Meeting

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Demonstrators gathered this morning outside Comcast Corporation’s annual shareholders’ meeting to show opposition to the company’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

Outside the Kimmel Center, Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, says a merger between the two media giants would result in worse customer service, higher prices, and fewer choices.

“I would say that they’re sort of notorious for lousy customer service, and they’re just going to have less of an incentive, I think, to address customer needs,” she told KYW Newsradio.

Meanwhile, Comcast spokesperson John Demming was on hand to read a written statement from Comcast:

“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 Americans across the nation,” he read.

But Steven Renderos, with the Center for Media Justice, doesn’t think the merger will help consumers at all.

“All it really does is it puts Comcast in a position to have more power,” he said.

Apparently, some consumers agree.  Protesters gathered more than 400,000 signatures of those opposed to the merger.