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PTC Also Takes Aim At Proposed Comcast-NBCU Combo

Advocacy group latest to weigh in on acquisition 12/03/2009 10:18:00 AM Eastern

While most
legislators were playing their cards close to the vest with general statements
about paying close attention to the merger, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) took
aim with both barrel.

 "This acquisition
must be stopped," he said in a statement late Thursday, adding it could be
a dangerous precedent for further consolidation.

 "Comcast's
acquisition of NBC Universal would have a devastating impact on the already
decreasing ability of the American people to receive unfiltered access to news,
information, and entertainment programming from a wide array of sources,"
he said. "Given that we've already seen Comcast try to censor the Internet
when it sought to undermine network neutrality several years ago, the American
people should have no faith that Comcast would allow them to have access to a
wide array of television programming."

 Also decrying
the deal in no uncertain terms was the Parents Television Council, which
branded it anti-family, anti-consumer, saying it would "destroy the
concept of consumer choice."

 "Pairing
the nation's largest cable provider with the behemoth that is NBC Universal can
mean only one thing: less choice for families and consumers," said PTC
President Tim Winter, himself a a former NBC exec, in a statement.

 Comcast says
the deal is pro-consumer and pro-competitive by allowing it to better serve
minorities, kids and families, among others.

 Winter said
PTC wants an exhaustive review and conditions that include the unbundling of
all cable programming.

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