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Congresswoman Waters Requests FCC Public Hearings On Comcast-NBC Merger

 

 

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) is requesting that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hold public hearings on the proposed Comcast Corporation merger with NBC Universal (NBC). In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that was signed by 45 other Members of Congress, the Congresswoman also submitted a series of questions for both Comcast and NBC to answer.

 

“I have been concerned about media consolidation and a lack of programming and ownership diversity in media for years,” said Congresswoman Waters. “Comcast is the nation’s largest provider of cable and internet services, so the merger’s impact will affect virtually every American. My colleagues and I want the FCC to conduct a thorough review of the Comcast-NBC merger, including public hearings, and to have our questions answered in a timely and substantive manner.”

 

Recently, the FCC agreed to extend the public comment period for the Comcast-NBC merger by 45 days after Congresswoman Waters asked for the extension in a letter and later introduced legislation to mandate an extension by law. In this most recent letter the Congresswoman and her colleagues applauded the FCC for that decision and cited the FCC’s history of holding public hearings on previous large mergers such as AOL/Time Warner, MCI WorldCom/Sprint and AT&T/Media One as precedent for Comcast/NBC public hearings.

 

The questions submitted by Congresswoman Waters and her colleagues include a detailed analysis of the companies’ employment of women and minorities in executive leadership, management positions, and contracting opportunities. The Members also inquire about Comcast and NBC’s efforts to foster creative freedom and diversity in media programming, distribution, and ownership, as well as seek information on the companies’ carriage agreements, cable rate increases, labor relations, advertising, and their compliance with current FCC rules.

 

“With a new Administration and new FCC leadership, I believe that this merger will get the scrutiny it deserves,” said Congresswoman Waters. “Comcast and NBC’s records on corporate and programming diversity have recently been critiqued by many consumer and media advocacy groups. We all have a collective responsibility to ensure that women and minorities have a place in the corporate office and on television, and that the American people are not given less services or charged more money by a result of this merger.”

 

To view a copy of the letter and the submitted questions, click here.

 

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House of Rep: Office of Maxine Waters, 2344 Rayburn Building, Washington, DC 20515 United States 



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