For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Michael Briggs or Will Wiquist (202) 224-5141

Senator Bernie Sanders

Statement on Comcast Takeover of NBC

WASHINGTON - Sen.
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after the
Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice approved
Comcast's bid to take control of NBC Universal from General Electric:

“The
Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice okayed
the merger of Comcast, the nation’s largest distributor of video
services, and NBC Universal, Inc., one of the nation’s largest producers
of video content. In approving this merger, these agencies ignored
their mandates to protect the public interest and preserve competition
and, instead, caved to an all-out lobbying campaign by Comcast and its
political allies. Commissioner Michael Copps, who has long warned
against the dangers of media consolidation, was the lone dissenting
voice at the FCC.

“Needless
to say, I am deeply disappointed in this decision.  At a time when a
small number of giant media corporations already control what the
American people see, hear, and read, we do not need another conglomerate
with more control over the production and distribution of news and
other programming.  The mega-merger of Comcast and NBC Universal will
lead to less local news coverage, fewer points of view, and reduced
competition for viewers and advertising, not just in Comcast’s network
but throughout the country. 

“The
merger will also make it harder for consumers to afford cable
programming.  According to the FCC’s former chief economist, consumers
will pay $2.4 billion more in cable bills as a result of the merger. As
the country struggles to recover from the worst economic crisis since
the Great Depression, I find it unconscionable that millions of
consumers will spend more for less, paying higher rates while receiving
virtually no tangible benefits.”

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