Thursday, December 23, 2010

FCC Chair Seeks Comcast-NBC Merger Conditions. Who's Comcast bill is going up?

It just doesn't sit right with me. I have a hard time with the idea of Comcast, the largest cable/internet provider buying NBC's vast media empire. Are they buying NBC to offer us more choices at a better price, or are we going to be stuck paying more for programming we don't want to watch? Why don't they focus on offering us programming packages that fit our needs, instead of buying content we might not want?
Amplify’d from
WASHINGTON — The head of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing regulatory conditions to ensure that cable TV giant Comcast Corp. cannot stifle competition in the video market once it takes control of NBC Universal.
Genachowski wants to ensure that Comcast won't be able to use its control over NBC's vast media empire to withhold content from emerging online competitors such as Netflix Inc., Inc. and Apple Inc. – locking consumers into costly monthly cable bills to get access to a wide range of popular programming.
Comcast is seeking government approval to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. for $13.8 billion in cash and assets.
The combination would give the nation's largest cable TV company control over the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, popular cable channels including CNBC, Bravo and Oxygen and the Universal Pictures movie studio. It would also give Comcast a roughly 30 percent stake in, which has become a popular online platform for broadcast programming from NBC, ABC and Fox.
One condition missing from Genachowski's proposal is a requirement that Comcast divest NBC's stake in Hulu. One influential lawmaker, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., has urged regulators to force Comcast to do that, given that the service could represent a competitive threat to Comcast's core cable business. Kohl chairs the Senate Judiciary subcommittee that oversees antitrust policy and consumer rights.

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