As millions of romantic Americans celebrated Valentine’s Day last weekend, it’s safe to assume that not many people sent bouquets of roses or boxes of chocolates to the fine people at Comcast and TimeWarner, following news of their impending merger last week.
A CivicScience survey of 2,204 US adults found that reaction to the Comcast buyout of TimeWarner was negative, to say the least.
A staggering 57% of respondents believe that the buyout will mean bad things for US consumers, while, only 5% view it as a positive and 6% view it as neutral. Just under 1/3rd of respondents were unsure what the merger will mean.
Among these respondents, men were the most likely to view the deal as a bad one for consumers, at 67%. Other particularly-negative groups included the highest-income respondents (those making more than $150k annually) at 65%, those with an Advanced Degree at 65%, and those living in the US West, at 68%.
We surveyed a second group of 1,725 adults, asking what they expect to be the most negative effect of the merger. Again, we saw a strong consensus:
The vast majority of respondents feared that the most likely negative outcome of the merger would be higher prices. 12% believed it would result in worse quality and service, while a slightly smaller group, 11%, think the most negative outcome would be less choice for consumers. 24% of respondents expressed no strong opinion on the matter.
It’s possible that, given time, the smart marketing people at Comcast will be able to allay consumers’ fears about the deal. But it looks like they have their work cut out for them.