Today, the Federal Communications Commission blessed the merger of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable and Internet provider, with the iconic NBC-Universal. This comes just weeks after the FCC passed a toothless Net Neutrality rule, so full of loopholes that you could drive a truck through it. Together, these two decisions will transform American media, consolidating even more control over even more platforms, in the hands of fewer and fewer corporations. The Justice Department approved the merger just hours after the FCC.
With this decision, Comcast has the power and the incentive to apply a cable TV model to the way we access the Internet, can bully competitors like Netflix, and will inevitably jack up prices on consumers. In addition, the merger will squeeze out already struggling independent, diverse voices. We’ve shown over and over that media consolidation decreases diversity in the media, hurts jobs and consumers, and leads to more junk news, sensationalism and celebrity gossip, rather than real news and debate we need in our communities. And that was before this merger was approved.
Now, Comcast will control both what you see and how you see it. And, this merger will create a baseline for media mergers to follow, with more companies pursuing an ever larger media empire. Continue reading