Comcast NBC Universal Merger: "...simply too much, too big, too powerful..."

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Epic Fail! On February 18, in a 4-1 vote, the FCC approved one of the largest media mergers in history between Comcast and NBC Universal.

I'm at a loss for words right now. But, it's essential to point out that one guy as David did, battled Goliath. His name is Commissioner Michael Copps. Soon after the, what many are calling the Comcastrophe, Copps issued an official 'Dissenting Statement' from his office:

"Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal is a transaction like no other that has come before this Commission—ever.  It reaches into virtually every corner of our media and digital landscapes and will affect every citizen in the land.  It is new media as well as old; it is news and information as well as sports and entertainment; it is distribution as well as content.  And it confers too much power in one company’s hands."

"As for the future of America’s news and journalism, I see nothing in this deal to address the fundamental damage that has been inflicted by years of outrageous consolidation and newsroom cuts.  Investigative journalism is not even a shell of its former self.  All of this means it’s more difficult for citizens to hold the powerful accountable.  It means thousands of stories go unwritten.  It means we never hear about untold instances of business corruption, political graft and other chicanery; it also means we don’t hear enough about all the good things taking place in our country every day."

Who cares? We do, of course. But, how's this relevant to San Antonio? At this present moment Comcast does not provide service in San Antonio, right? Wrong. If you subscribe to Time-Warner as service provider then you also subscribe to Comcast. At least that's been the case since 2009 when Comcast and Time-Warner partnered up with their "TV Everywhere" model so they could control your TV on the Internet as well.

Back to San Antonio. People, this impacts our city in two really big ways. One, local media diversity is essential to this multi-cultural city. Is it not? And two, who wants to pay more for cable, or Internet access? You think local content and prices are bad now?

Another quote. This time from Free Press President and CEO Josh Silver:

"Today’s decision by the FCC represents a failure of the agency to live up to its own public interest mandate, as well as Barack Obama’s promise to promote media diversity and prevent excessive media concentration. This deal will give Comcast unprecedented control over both media content and the physical network that delivers it. The FCC has opened Pandora’s Box, and we can soon expect a whole new swarm of mega-mergers that will have dire consequences for media and the Internet.

In the end Commissioner Copps said it best with his publicly released statement:

"In sum, this is simply too much, too big, too powerful, too lacking in benefits for American consumers and citizens."

San Antonio resident and media justice activist DeAnne Cuellar blogs throughout the week at blogs.sacurrent.com. We welcome your questions and feedback and can be reached directly at techtease@sacurrent.com. Follow Tech Tease on Twitter at @thetechtease.

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