The state of California has given its blessing to the proposed merger between cable giants Comcast and Time Warner, though not without some caveats which leave the companies less than pleased. Among them, Comcast would be asked to improve its often criticized “Internet Essentials” program, which itself was a condition of their merger with NBC Universal, and is aimed at providing low income families with affordable broadband (though only after jumping through plenty of hoops). Another provision addressed poor customer service, including those infamous recorded calls where Comcast representatives refused to allow unhappy customers to cancel their service. Read more about California’s merger stipulations on Ars Technica.
While the merger is still being mulled over by federal regulators, the FCC and Department of Justice specifically, Comcast’s lobbying push does not end in Washington. State and local governments must also weigh in, largely in order to approve the transfer of local cable franchise licenses from Time Warner to Comcast, and also from Comcast to Charter Communications and a new company that would be formed following the merger if approved, Greatland Connections. Several municipalities currently served by Time Warner Cable have declined to transfer the licenses to Comcast, with most exprssing discomfort turning service over to a company with such a checkered reputation.