Rep. Waters announces support for Comcast-NBC merger hearings

by Office of Rep. Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) announced today that 23 additional Members of Congress signed on to her letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski, urging the FCC to hold public hearings on the merger of the Comcast Corporation with NBC Universal (NBC). The original letter, sent last week, was signed by Congresswoman Waters and 45 of her colleagues. It included a series of questions about diversity, distribution, cable rates, labor relations and advertising for Comcast and NBC to answer.

The additional signatures, sent to the FCC in an addendum letter today, further reflect the geographically, ideologically and racially diverse group of Members of Congress who all recognize that a merger of this size Comcast is the largest provider of internet and cable in the country will affect virtually every American and therefore deserves thorough scrutiny through a public hearings process.

As stewards of the common good and as policymakers, it is important for us to do all that we can to ensure full transparency in the merger. We ve heard from many consumer and media advocacy groups who raise concerns about each company s overall business activities related to programming, ownership and personnel diversity, and who fear that a merger of this size and scope would have a broad impact on the American consumer.

The Congresswoman continued, I am pleased that more of my colleagues have joined me in this endeavor, and I am encouraged that FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has voiced her support for public hearings on the merger as well. In an age of media consolidation and a lack of female and minority diversity in the boardroom, my colleagues and I are committed to a process that asks tough questions, provides answers, and ensures the American people that their best interests are considered.

Read the letters and the full list of signatures here.

Also, today Congresswoman Waters questioned Attorney General Eric Holder during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Department of Justice. The Congresswoman asked the Attorney General about the Comcast-NBC merger, and whether he thought that public hearings by the FCC could help the DOJ acquire all the information they'll need as they conduct their own anti-trust inquiry, to which he replied they could be. The video can be seen here.

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