Comcast Corporation (formerly registered as Comcast Holdings) is an American global telecommunications conglomerate that is the largest broadcasting and cable television monopoly in the world by revenue. It is the second-largest pay-TV company after AT&T, largest cable TV company and largest home Internet service provider in the United States, and the nation's third-largest home telephone service provider. Comcast services U.S. residential and commercial customers in 40 states and in the District of Columbia. The company's headquarters are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As the owner of the international media company NBCUniversal since 2011, Comcast is a producer of feature films and television programs intended for theatrical exhibition and over-the-air and cable television broadcast.
Comcast operates over-the-air national broadcast network channels (NBC and Telemundo), multiple cable-only channels (including MSNBC, CNBC, USA Network, NBCSN, E!, The Weather Channel, among others), the film production studio Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks & Resorts in Los Angeles, California; Orlando, Florida; and Osaka, Japan. Universal Studios Singapore, one of the four Universal operating theme parks, is wholly owned by Genting Group, and a few new locations such as Universal Studios Beijing are currently in construction or planned in the future. Comcast also has significant holdings in digital distribution, such as thePlatform, acquired in 2006. In February 2014, the company agreed to merge with Time Warner Cable in an equity swap deal worth $45.2 billion. Under the terms of the agreement Comcast was to acquire 100% of Time Warner Cable. However, on April 24, 2015, Comcast terminated the agreement.
Comcast has been criticized for multiple reasons; the company's customer satisfaction often ranks among the lowest in the cable industry. In addition, Comcast has violated net neutrality practices in the past; and, despite Comcast's commitment to a narrow definition of net neutrality, critics advocate a definition which precludes any distinction between Comcast's private network services and the rest of the Internet. Critics also point out a lack of competition in the vast majority of Comcast's service area; there is limited competition among cable providers. Furthermore, given Comcast's negotiating power as a large ISP, some suspect that Comcast could leverage paid peering agreements to unfairly influence end-user connection speeds. And its ownership of both content production (in NBCUniversal) and content distribution (as an ISP) has raised antitrust concerns. These issues, in addition to others, led to Comcast being dubbed "The Worst Company in America" by The Consumerist in 2010 and 2014.
Despite being publicly traded, Comcast is a family-owned business, with the Ralph J Roberts family owning 33% controlling stake and multiple generations serving as company executives.