“Let the game begin!!” said Media Access Project President/CEO Andrew Schwartzman to mark the FCC filing of Comcast and NBCU defending the two media giants’ pending merger – and yes, the exclamation points are Schwartzman’s. MAP has been one of a number of watchdogs already hard at work trying to prevent the Comcast/NBCU wedding from ever taking place.
“Make no mistake: this one is just as important as the Olympics,” said Schwartzman. “How the FCC and the Department of Justice handle Comcast’s proposed acquisition of NBC will shape the future of media and the Internet for a long time to come.”
Opponents of the merger are as wary of vertical integration as they are of linear consolidation; the fear is that the combination of NBCU programming assets and Comcast distribution assets will give the merged entity too much market power. Many are especially worried that combining Comcast’s status as a major ISP with NBCU’s Hulu service will give the merged entity too much weight in that media space as well as on more traditional media platforms and will harm consumers.