It’s been a week of mergers. Facebook has decided to buy the mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Staying true to its vision of becoming more mobile, Facebook plans to pay the company $19 billion in cash and stock. What makes WhatsApp so popular is its ability to bypass telecom’s fees when relaying pictures, videos, and other media to other users.
This is not the only notable company that has been bought out by the social media giant. Facebook, through the acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, has been looking to include more services under its umbrella. CEO of WhatsApp will now sit on the Facebook’s board and will still oversee its operations.
An even crazier merger, I think, is the merging of Comcast and Time Warner (still pending the Fed’s decision of course). If it works out, HBO, NBC and CNN will all work under the Cable company. Now, not only would Verizon be the only internet provider with a video streaming service under its name.
This brings us to another unavoidable fact. Netflix users have been complaining to ISPs because of slower service. This is not a surprise considering the death of net neutrality earlier this year. This is why the FCC is looking to rewrite it’s Open Internet rules in compliance with the Federal Court decision, leaving a glimmer of hope to a more neutral internet.
I like imagining Frank and Claire Underwood of House of Cards actually existed. Working for Netflix, of course, they would pull some crazy political strings in order save net neutrality, I would only hope. If this merger actually happens, be prepared to see major stagnation in connection speeds. This monopoly would further discourage any upgrades to infrastructure.
It sucks that countries like South Korea, Finland, and Sweden enjoy notably faster and cheaper internet, while we’re stuck lining the pockets of those giving us a sub-par service. It ain’t right…
But Google may have some influence in arena soon, now that it has announced the introduction of fiber service in some select cities — San Jose, Atlanta, Nashville, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix (to name a few). Who knows, maybe Google’s gargantuan customer base may give Comcast a run for its money and restore balance to the force.