Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and NBC President Jeff Zucker testified in front of House and Senate subcommittees Thursday as regulators decide whether to allow the proposed merger of the two media giants. Comcast is the largest cable TV and residential high-speed Internet company in the nation. NBC is one of the largest content providers.
The House hearing opened with several politicians waxing poetic about how the merger is great for America. While nobody in the room cracked a smile, their enthusiasm is laughable. The only people who could believe that the largest media merger in a generation is good for the public are either: 1) on the receiving end of the massive campaign contributions from said media companies; 2) bending to the phalanx of industry lobbyists swarming Capitol Hill; or 3) hoodwinked believers in the "all regulation is bad" approach that brought us Enron and the financial meltdown.
Not everyone is swallowing the snake oil Comcast is peddling to grease its takeover of NBC. None shone brighter yesterday than Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who aggressively interrogated Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker -- all but accusing them of lying to his face.
Comment: More competition is what's needed here, not less.