For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

FCC Reportedly Pushing Comcast-NBC Merger Without Full Review

WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission could be moving toward
finalizing its review of the proposed Comcast-NBC merger as early as
next week, according to press reports. The FCC, along with the
Department of Justice, is charged with evaluating the merger's impact on
the public.

Numerous lawmakers, public interest advocates and companies have
raised serious questions about the effect of the merger on competition,
online video and Network Neutrality. Both public interest groups and
industry have pointed out that the FCC’s merger record remains
incomplete with regard to a critical question in this proceeding.

Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright made the following statement:

“Reports that the FCC might be nearing the completion of its review
of this merger are troubling. The FCC has a duty to ensure that a merger
is in the public interest, and it’s clear that this merger would cause
serious harms to competition and consumers, including higher cable
bills, limited consumer choice and decreased access to diverse voices
and independent programming.

"For six months, Comcast has refused to comply with the FCC’s May
2010 request for Comcast’s cable carriage contracts with independent
programmers. These contracts are essential to assessing whether and how
Comcast limits independent programmers’ ability to distribute their
content as a way of preventing online rivals from competing.

“Comcast’s purposeful omission of these contracts leaves the FCC and
the public with a deficient record on which to base decisions regarding
Comcast’s anti-competitive practices.  The Commission cannot make a fair
evaluation on an incomplete record, and consumers deserve the agency’s
full and thorough review.”


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