LOS ANGELES (December 3, 2009) – Today, the Parents Television Council® responded to the proposed $30 billion merger between Comcast and NBC Universal that would result in less choice for families and consumers. PTC called for an exhaustive public interest review by the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission and said the deal stands to destroy the concept of consumer choice.
“Parents, families and consumers everywhere should take note of the gravity of the proposed Comcast-NBC merger. Pairing the nation’s largest cable provider with the behemoth that is NBC Universal can mean only one thing: less choice for families and consumers,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“This announcement is a classic example of Wall Street versus Main Street, and sadly it is a zero-sum game. Wall Street will find nothing but good with this merger; Main Street will find nothing good. The history of merging entertainment producers with entertainment distributors has proven all that we need know: Consumers – and especially children and families – will be thrown under the bus if it raises the share price of the combined company’s stock by a penny.
“On behalf of the Parents Television Council and its more than 1.3 million members, we call for an exhaustive review of all of the public interest issues raised by the proposed merger, particularly how the merged company would force the subsidy of bundled cable programming. If the proposed merger goes through as is, it will result in a media conglomerate so large that Comcast-NBC would have the market power to coerce carriage of programming it owns regardless of market demand, eliminate options for consumers and distributors, and put upward pressure on prices and product bundles for all distribution platforms.
“Parents and families are desperate for a more competitive cable model that offers real cable choice -- the ability to pick and pay for only the TV content they want coming into their homes. But with consumers asking for more choice, the proposed Comcast-NBC merger is a step in the opposite direction.
“Any regulatory approval of this merger must be conditional upon an across-the-board unbundling of all cable network programming. We call upon decision-makers in Washington to look past the volume of campaign dollars that have poured into their coffers by the individuals and entities involved with this merger. The public demands that they exhaustively review the anti-trust issues inherently raised by this merger and realize that at its very core, the Comcast-NBC deal impedes the concept of consumer choice and is blatantly anti-consumer and anti-family,” Winter concluded.