Tony Cardenas (D-CA) is glad the comment period has been extended in regards to the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, then proceeded to offer some of his own. He is concerned about the power the combined entity may wield over smaller competitors.
Cardenas said, “By extending the comment period, the FCC clearly realizes that there are still voices that have legitimate concerns with the merger who still need to be heard. Part of the challenge we face is that many of those concerned with the merger will potentially have to sit across the negotiating table with a new Comcast-Time Warner Cable. Because this new entity will have such broad control over media production, distribution, cable and broadband, there is a natural chilling effect for many of those voices.
“As evidenced by its response to initial concerns raised, Comcast has shown a disregard for those who air legitimate concerns and far too often resorts to accusations of extortion and name calling rather than addressing the concerns raised. I hope this extended comment period will allow for a healthy dialogue to take place and that the FCC is able to hear from the many voices affected by this merger and the broader issue of media consolidation.
“I personally have concerns with how smaller, independently-owned companies will be affected by the merger, particularly minority-owned networks already struggling in the current media environment. These companies are critical for providing diverse voices in our media, granting opportunities for those seeking to break into the entertainment industry and preserving the culture of diverse communities.”