Pro and con economists weigh in at FCC Comcast/NBC meeting


A Friday 8/27/10 closed door meeting at the FCC will get the viewpoints of economists representing companies and organizations with varying viewpoints on the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. Due to the sensitive financial information that will come up in the meetings, which will also include a representative of the DOJ, the participating parties have been sworn to secrecy.

At issue are whether to approve the merger at all, and if approved, what sorts of conditions should be applied to regulatory consent.

According to reports, Comcast will have representatives there, as will two entities that have expressed concerns about the merger, competitor Bloomberg and the American Cable Association.

Many public interest groups are concerned about the market power that will be concentrated in the merged entity, and corporate opponents such as Bloomberg are afraid that their own cable programming services will get second-class treatment.

Upon announcing the proposed merger, Comcast and NBCU detailed a number of conditions they would accept to allay such fears, and have added concessions since, but the concerns continue to be expressed.

Others are concerned that if this merger goes through, it will set off another wave of large corporate weddings as competitors look to keep up with the merged entity.