Merger Made Comcast Strong, U.S. Web Users Weak

Merger Made Comcast Strong, U.S. Web Users Weak
Bert Socket - Mon Dec 31, 2012 @ 12:15AM
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On a gray day in February 2010, Brian Roberts sat facing the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee. The panel was holding its first hearing on a proposed merger between two of the country’s most powerful media companies, the cable distribution giant Comcast Corp. and the entertainment conglomerate NBC Universal.

Roberts, the chief executive officer of Comcast, was a calm and friendly witness. If the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission approved the merger, Comcast’s future as the largest distributor of information in the country would be assured.

Comcast had been gaining strength as a monopoly provider of wired high-speed Internet access in its territories, while the U.S. was lagging behind other countries when it came to the prices charged for and the speed and capability of this basic communications tool. At the same time, the Internet was becoming the common global medium. With high-speed Internet access, a farmer in Missouri can access weather conditions and crop prices; American Indians on a remote reservation can have their eyes checked by a distant doctor; entrepreneurs and small businesses in California, New York and all the states between can find inexpensive entry points into global markets.

read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-25/merger-made-comcast-strong-u-s-web-users-weak.html?article

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