The Federal Communication Commission’s comment period for the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal ended yesterday. As such, critics of the merger used the final opportunity to voice their concerns over the proposed deal and Comcast responded in kind.
According to Adweek, 33,049 comments have been filed in the merger case, with 94 percent of them from free press advocates. Groups such as the media reform nonprofit Free Press say that the deal will be bad for consumers and for competition. Small cable companies, represented by the American Cable Association, have also raised concerns about the deal and have asked for Comcast to make concessions to guarantee a fair business environment.
Comcast executives countered that the same industry critics were drumming up similar “apocalyptic predictions” that they have made before similar deals over the years, which really are unfounded. Executives for Comcast also argued that Comcast’s competitors were inappropriately airing “preexisting or industry-wide grievances” that did not have a place in the FCC regulatory proceeding.
Comcast insists that the merger will reinvigorate broadcasting. They say they are confident that the lengthy review process will wrap up by the end of the year.
Critics Assail Comcast-NBCU Merger Plans (Reuters)