Friday, April 9, 2010

Tivo and Dish, Will They Merge?

Dish has lost the fight against Tivo. In fact, Dish has until the end of the month to either pay or turning off their customers' DVRs. Heaven forbid the latter, as they would have a nightmare on their hands. And so the Citibank speculation is that Echostar will acquire Tivo.

Sounds simple, but life never is. Despite expecting a huge settlement, Tivo also has other suits to settle and potentially an even larger payout. Is Dish their best partner or would it make more sense to price itself out to the highest bidder. Maybe Direct TV has an interest or even Verizon. And don't forget Comcast although their hands are full with the NBC Universal merger attempt.

So watch the stock market closely as the financial players might smell M&A blood.

The Internet’s Last Hope

Great article in Mother Jones:

"This week, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals dealt what looked like a deathblow to "net neutrality," the principle that Internet providers shouldn't get to pick and choose which information moves quickest over the web. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has one last chance to prevent these companies from fundamentally changing how the Internet works—and not for the better. But will the commissioners take on the telecoms?"

All Web Traffic Is Not Equal - No Net Neutrality

I guess I am a bit surprised that there has not been much discussion regarding the court's ruling against the FCC and overturning net neutrality. "Federal regulators lacked authority to censure Comcast Corp. for interfering with subscribers’ Internet traffic, a U.S. court said in a decision that could limit the government’s power to police companies’ Web behavior." That is to say that your broadband company can determine which web sites get priority for speeds to your home. This could be most troubling for bandwidth heavy video content companies like Netflix, Amazon, and yes, even Hulu. Instant streaming could be slowed down for other priorities, for example, Comcast's Fancast.

There is much involved in this decision and revisions in policy may need to be considered in order to create a fair and competitive digital landscape. "The decision 'creates a dangerous situation, one where the health and the openness of the Internet is being held hostage' to the behavior of telephone and cable companies that own the wires used for Internet traffic to homes and businesses, said the Open Internet Coalition in an e-mailed statement." For now it is Comcast over the FCC; but in the battle verse the war, there may be more to consider. Comcast's merger application with NBC is also in front of the FCC. And should hard feelings remain, that approval may be affected.