Major Merger Nearing Completion

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Broadcast News, Future of Journalism

With the Comcast and NBC Universal merger coming close to being a done deal, there are many opinions in the media world that are being offered. The merger could allow Comcast to have a stranglehold on issues such as net neutrality, retransmission fees and TVEverywhere. There are many restrictions being talked about among the media that the Federal Communication Committee and the U.S. Justice Department should enforce. In Alex Weprin’s article for TVNewser, he presents two opposing arguments by the New York Times and Broadcasting and Cable.

B&C want the deal to get done so, they can start taking advantage of their merger and reveal to the public what the change will end up as in the future. The New York Times feel differently though. They would rather the FCC and DOJ take its time and ensure that the potentially overpowering deal has all the restrictions it needs to prevent Comcast and NBCU from having too much control.

There are so many issues on the table for this deal that can affect companies from several different markets in the media realm. The new company could control online innovation, eliminate new competition, monopolize other cable and internet rivals and raise broadband subscriptions. This merger could be the most detrimental move since the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Cross-ownership advocates or adversaries could have a lot more fire for the hotly contested topic.

I think this deal could cause more harm than good, since these two companies have so much power by themselves in their respective broadcaster and cable provider roles. Many of the changes that could occur from this merger don’t seem to favor the consumer. But, like the rest of the media world, bystanders will have to wait at see what the future holds for Comcast and NBCU’s competitors and subscribers.


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