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February 25, 2010
12:39 PM

CONTACT: Free Press

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32 or

Free Press Warns Congress: ‘Comcast’s Actions Speak Louder than Words’

Group Urges Legislators to Protect Consumers, Oppose NBC Takeover

WASHINGTON - February 25 - With top Comcast and NBC executives headed before Congress on Thursday, Free Press urged members of the House Judiciary Committee to challenge the CEOs about how a merger of their companies would affect consumers.

"Consumers across the country are tired of rubber-stamped media mergers," said Corie Wright, policy counsel of Free Press. "They want their elected officials to protect the public and ask tough questions of Comcast and NBC: How will consumers benefit from this deal? Will cable rates go up? Will Americans lose jobs? Can these companies be trusted to follow through on their promises?"

In testimony before the Senate on Feb. 4, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts promised to abide by important FCC rules that prevent the company from withholding Comcast-owned cable channels from competing video service providers. Now Comcast appears to be going back on its promise to Congress and is refusing to withdraw from a court case where it's trying to get these very same rules thrown out.

"Actions do speak louder than words," Wright said. "Comcast claims that existing regulations will safeguard competition if the merger is approved. But Congress and regulators should be troubled that Comcast is trying to whittle away at the same rules it argues will protect consumers."

Wright also urged the committee to ask Roberts about Comcast's plans for future Olympic games. Currently, NBC is limiting online access to some Olympic programming only to those viewers who can prove they subscribe to cable.

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