Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, told the FCC last week to kill the Comcast-NBCU merger deal because it will not be in the public interest “no matter how many conditions” are attached.
“The sale of NBCU to Comcast would create an enormously powerful, vertically integrated media conglomerate, causing irreparable damage to the American media landscape,” Sanders wrote to the FCC. “We do not need another conglomerate with control over the production and distribution of sports news and entertainment.”
Sanders cited the American Cable Association’s study from former FCC economist William Rogerson that said the deal could cost consumers an additional $2.4 billion. Earlier, Comcast called the study flawed and said in a response to the FCC last week that it was misleading and should be given “no weight.”
Sanders, however, said it is an obvious conclusion that the public interest will not be serviced by “a regressive wealth transfer of $2.4 billion from ordinary citizens to what would be one of the largest corporate entities in the United States.”
If the deal were approved, Comcast would have the incentive to favor NBCU over other content companies in its carriage negotiations, Sanders said.
The FCC’s informal timetable for reviewing the merger ends next week.