Competition Coalition Calls Comcast/NBCU Response 'Weak' Effort

FCC expected to impose conditions on merger
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Critics of
the Comcast/NBCU merger, who banded together as the Coalition for
Competition in Media (Bloomberg, Common Cause, Free Press, Media Access
Project and the Writers Guild East and West among
them), fired back Thursday at Comcast/NBCU's defense of its proposed
deal.

"Comcast's
reply filing is a weak attempt to make regulators and consumers forget
that they still have not offered any reasoning as to why this merger is
good for consumers," the coalition said in
a statement. "The merger would give Comcast unprecedented power
nationally and in local markets to control cable television and
broadband Internet service and drive up costs for consumers. Given the
serious threat posed by a merger of this size and the lack
of answers from Comcast, the FCC and the Justice Department should
stand up for consumers and oppose this merger as proposed."

The FCC is
expected to impose conditions on the deal. In fact is it almost a given
since Comcast/NBCU have already struck deals with NBC and other
affiiliate groups on arms-lenght retrans negotiations,
access to sports programming and commitments to over-the-air TV that
those groups say must be enforceable conditions.

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