FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will be presiding over the Tuesday 7/13/10 FCC field hearing on the proposed merger between Comcast and NBCU. And Copps will notably be the only commissioner in attendance.
According to the National Journal’s Tech Daily Dose, the reasons for Copp’s solo outing are many. Chairman Julius Genachowski does not want his own star power to diminish the opportunity for Copps to shine; commissioners view the event as being staff level; commissioners will be prepping for the FCC Open Meeting scheduled for two days later.
The mass avoidance of the event comes as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who has taken a special interest in the merger, is calling for even more public scrutiny of the deal. At last week’s congressional hearing on the merger, also in Chicago, she said, “I have also been concerned with the regulatory process this merger has faced and have called for the Federal Communications Commission to enable great public participation. The FCC has scheduled a public meeting on the merger for next week in Chicago, and I would like the FCC to hold more public hearings around the country so that the American people get a better idea of the size, scope and implications of this merger. Additional Congressional hearings might also be helpful for increasing understanding of the merger’s many facets and for preserving competition, creating opportunities, and ensuring consumers will have access to alternative sources of news and entertainment.”