The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and
co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“Earlier today, Comcast issued a five-page
letter which was supposed to address ‘public interest’ concerns about
the merger with NBCU. The letter is irrelevant to our concerns, and did
not address them at all.
“The letter said only that Comcast would obey existing programming
access requirements (which don’t apply to terrestrially distributed
programming), and would comply with requirements for programming for
children. It made no mention of making programming available to other
“During the analysts call, Comcast officials said they planned to
go ahead with their TV Everywhere plan to make cable-based programming
available online only to cable customers behind a pay wall. That plan is
unacceptable and incompatible with the spirit of making programming
widely available to competitors as Comcast claims it wants to do.
“In combining a major television network, a movie studio, a cable
programmer, and the largest Internet Service Provider/cable operator,
this new joint venture must be ready to take extraordinary steps to
alleviate concerns about potential anticompetitive behavior if it expects
the deal to be approved.”
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