LOS ANGELES (January 7, 2010) – In a letter that was released today to members of Congress and President Obama, the Parents Television Council® joined a range of industry, labor, and public interest organizations in raising serious concerns about the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal that would result in less choice for families and consumers and would not serve the public interest.
“We believe that a merger of this size and scope will have a devastating effect on the media marketplace. It will result in less competition, higher consumer costs and fewer content choices. It also will give one company unprecedented control over innovative new media that offer news, information, entertainment and cultural programming through emerging technologies,” said the Parents Television Council, National Organization of Women, Free Press and nearly 20 other organizations in the letter.
“Parents Television Council members and families across the country are continually asking for more choice, especially the ability to pick and choose which channels they want coming into their homes. Unfortunately, the marriage of Comcast and NBC Universal would only mean one thing: less choice for consumers,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
The letter outlined a number of concerns over the merger as it stands now, including the fact that the merged Comcast-NBCU behemoth would pack enough market power to discriminate against other multi-channel video providers, enforce anticompetitive bundling, and push independent producers out of the picture. The letter also noted that so far Comcast’s concessions to make the proposed merger more palatable to decision-makers in Washington are “mere window dressing” and fall far short of addressing concerns about competition and consumer choice.
The signers closed by saying, “The proposed deal raises the most basic antitrust and public policy issues for an administration that has declared both the importance of media diversity and an intention to be more vigilant against anticompetitive conduct and abuses of market power. We ask that you take a hard look at this merger and take the necessary measures to prevent harm to both consumers and competition.”
To read the full letter, visit: https://www.parentstv.org/PTC/news/articles/2009/Comcast_NBC letter.pdf.