This divestiture will take place by hook or by crook, or more specifically as it applied to telecommunications and the break-up of the Bell Companies, by enforcement of anti-trust regulation, by new technology, and by downward market pricing pressures.
This is why telecom companies who used to charge upwards of $1 per minute for some calls are scrambling to get you to sign on to their services for a mere .
05 per minute, and why upstarts like Vonage who use the Internet to relay voice calls at a song are throwing a wrench in everyone's process.
The Cable TV industry, alas, is one reigning monopoly that still survives, and has been given a free pass on market pricing, technology and consumer choice.
Consider the brouhaha that the industry--and some critics--have raised over the FCC's decision to review the possibility of "a la carte cable" offerings.
This is the simple, and sensible, idea that consumers should be able to choose their own cable channels and build their own packages, rather than rely on Cable's fixed, bundled offerings that force consumers to receive channels they don't want.
Some broadcasters of the more "undesirable" channels claim that if consumers get to choose only the channels they want, these ugly duckling channels would be forced out of business...
because no one would choose them! Well...
That's why it's called a free market economy, stupid! And as I said, these broadcasters are getting a free pass.
My opinion is that if the American public thinks you have no reason to be--and they will vote with their wallet--then either you provide more desirable programming or find some other line of business.
Choice is what a free market economy is about, and consumers should have a choice in the channels they want to receive.
Telling me, "Well, you can just block out the channels you don't like" is not the answer; because I am still paying for those channels I don't want.
The Cable industry claims that apart from the bundling, we would be forced to pay higher prices for a la carte offerings.
Not if they drop the channels that no one wants.
That's less overhead right there.
As I said, technology and market forces will ultimately force these cable operators to offer a la carte offerings.
Technology is giving us video on demand, and movies and TV shows that you can pay to download to your computer.
Is this not, in principle, the idea behind a la carte? And it is happening already.
Technology is taking the lead, as it continues to do so in the telecom industry.
And technology will ultimately prevail with cable as well.