When it comes to massive companies that are practically swimming in pools of their own money, media giant Comcast tops the list.
As America’s largest cable company, Comcast has a market value of over $47 billion, placing 89th on “The Forbes Global 2000”- a list of the world’s leading companies. As of January 28, this already behemoth company grew even larger when it merged with NBC Universal.
Comcast paid NBC’s parent company, General Electric, a whopping $13.8 billion in cash and assets for a majority 51 per cent stake in NBC. NBC, otherwise known as the network that threw Conan O’Brien in the trash, is already an incredibly large company on their own, with control over CNBC, MSNBC, Universal Studios, and the website Hulu.
While Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and newly appointed CEO of NBC Steve Burke are probably jumping up and clicking their heels in excitement for the merger, others may not be as quick to do the same. The concern coming out of this is that these newly partnered companies now have control of over roughly one-fifth of all American viewing hours. Even though the Federal Communications Commission approved of the merger by a 4-to-1 vote, there is still some apprehension surrounding the idea that, as a content-distributor, Comcast could decide to limit access to NBC’s programming.
Why? No other reason, of course, than pure greed to make more money. The question that really should be raised is, “When did making money change from being a necessity to a downright greedy obsession?”
What has happened to our society to make CEOs that are already earning upwards of $27 million a year feel as though they simply aren’t making enough money yet?
But the merger isn’t all bad news. Comcast has made “voluntary” commitments surrounding the deal, such as offering Internet access to 2.5 million low income households, promising to promote local and regional news, and supplying a greater availability for children’s programming.
I suppose it’s a little bit pointless to even begin lecturing the world on the dangers of corporate greed. It’s hard to say how any of us would actually behave when faced with the temptation of money and success in the way that these large businesses are. Love or hate these insanely rich CEOs of NBC and Comcast, you still have to be a little bit impressed by their ability to rake in the green.