Reps try to spring FCC/DOJ ambush on Comcast/NBCU


Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and a posse of six House of Representatives colleagues have fired off letters to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Attorney General Eric Holder asking them to put a stop to the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal.

In the letter, they state that if the merger goes through, “Localism, diversity, and competition in today’s media, all of which are severely weak, would be nearly lost.”

In a statement, Hinchey said, “If Comcast successfully acquires NBC Universal, the American people will be faced with more media consolidation, fewer independent sources of information, and higher cable bills. The media conglomerate that would be created under this proposed deal would control content production and content distribution at an unprecedented level and it would stifle the growing trend of accessing premium content online regardless of one’s broadband provider.”

The group fired off stats making the case that the top of the media market is already severely consolidated. They wrote, “Today, five companies own the broadcast networks, 90 percent of the top 50 cable networks, produce three-quarters of all prime time programming, and control 70 percent of the prime time television market share. These same companies own the nation’s most popular newspapers and networks also own over 85 percent of the top twenty internet news sites.”

Hinchey’s co-signers on the letter include Donna Edwards (D-MD), John Olver (D-MA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).