At this point in time, everyone is well aware just how awful Comcast is. With the potential merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, Comcast has been coming under more and more scrutiny in light of the net neutrality issue that dominated the spotlight over the course of the last year. Now, it seems that Comcast is about to reap what they sow. This all has to evolve around Comcast’s actions regarding Hulu.
Back in 2013, Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Disney executives met at the Allen & Co. conference to discuss the potential sale of Hulu, which was on the sales lot for potential billions of dollars. At the last minute, Comcast managed to convince the partners that it could turn Hulu into a rival against Netflix. This sort of conversation is what managed to pull Hulu off the market. Why is that a problem?
Prior to that, Comcast had just acquired NBC Universal, which is how it had a stake in Hulu. However, according to the deal with the Justice Department, Comcast had agreed that their involvement in Hulu would be severely restricted. Comcast agreed not to “influence, control, or participate in the governance or management of Hulu.” So by urging its fellow Hulu partners to not sell the service and make it a rival against Netflix violated their agreement with the Justice Department and therein lies the problem.
This is raising questions in Washington as to whether Comcast can be trusted to be compliant. With the merger of Time Warner Cable and all its properties, it would be very much a slap in the face if they agreed to the terms and do their own thing afterward, especially after the issue with Hulu.
“Comcast has no role in making, evaluating, or reconsidering any management decisions at Hulu,” a Comcast spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. “All strategic decisions at Hulu are made by the other partners and not by Comcast.”
Comcast is supposed to sit down with the Justice Department to discuss the potential merger and whether it can be trusted. However, Comcast will most likely play the issue off as their partners asked their opinion and their partners chose the ultimate decision. If the government decides to believe this issue, then we will all be doomed.