Common Cause demanded an apology from Comcast Thursday for what it said was being branded an extortionist in Comcast's FCC response to its critics (and supporters), but the company signaled it was not asserting the consumer group had demanded any quid pro quo's.
In its response this week at the FCC to various critics of its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, Comcast had said some of those critics had tried to extort various business advantages--more money, wider carriage, free interconnection--in exchange for not opposing or even supporting the deal. Comcast EVP David Cohen said there was nothing surprising or illegal about its competitors trying to leverage the deal to their business advantage. What was wrong he suggested was cloaking it in public or consumer interest rhetoric.
Among the general critics of the deal Comcast cited was Common Cause, which felt it had been lumped in with the programmers--Netflix, Discovery--for "extortion" status.