December 5, 2016
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Groups On Comcast Merger "Bad For Consumers"

 WASHINGTON -- Free Press, Media Access Project, Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union have filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission to oppose Comcast’s proposed takeover of NBC Universal.

Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright said, “The public interest community has offered a mass of evidence that the proposed merger will hurt consumers and competition. In response, Comcast has offered 600 pages of talking points, flawed analyses and inconsistent statements. More importantly, for the FCC’s review, Comcast has failed to demonstrate that the benefits of the merger will outweigh its considerable harms.  In its current form, the proposed merger suffers from a sizeable public interest deficit.”

Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior vice president and policy director of the Media Access Project, said, "Our review of Comcast’s internal business planning documents confirms what we said in our original petition. It shows that the goal of this transaction is to use NBCU’s content to extend Comcast’s market power into the Internet space. There are no conditions which can ameliorate this problem; the Commission should reject the proposed deal."

Mark Cooper, research director of Consumer Federation of America, said, “Our analysis of the thousands of pages of confidential documents that Comcast and NBC were forced to make available for review demonstrates not only that this merger will reduce competition, raise prices and harm the public, but also that Comcast has been cynically hypocritical in making statements to federal regulators that its own internal analyses prove to be false. In an age of widespread corporate irresponsibility, Comcast has set a new low by committing fraud in its public interest filing.”

The public interest groups urge the FCC to reject this merger, and to put the needs of the public before the interests of big business. The filing makes clear, that if this merger is allowed to go through, consumers will have fewer choices, especially if they seek access to independent or diverse voices. It will mean less innovation in the emerging market for online video, fewer local voices and diminished media diversity.

As of yesterday, there were 33,049 filings in the Comcast docket, including 31,903 from Free Press activists. 94 percent of comments submitted to the FCC express opposition to the merger.

Link to the executive summary of comments to the FCC by Free Press, Media Access Project, Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union in opposition to Comcast's proposed takeover of NBC:http://www.freepress.net/files/FP_MAP_CU_CFA_Merger_Reply_ExecSummary_8....



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