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Consumers Union Statement on FCC Order on Comcast-NBC

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 23, 2010 – Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, made the following statement today as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) circulates an order among the commissioners to approve Comcast’s proposed buyout of NBC Universal with certain conditions.

December 23, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 23, 2010 – Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, made the following statement today as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) circulates an order among the commissioners to approve Comcast’s proposed buyout of NBC Universal with certain conditions.

Desai said, “We believe that consumers would be best served if the deal was rejected. It’s hard to imagine how a cable giant like Comcast owning a content empire like NBC Universal could be a plus for consumers’ pocketbooks and competition. The FCC appears to have identified the right areas of concern, including program and online access to content, but the devil is in the details. Since it appears the FCC is likely to approve the deal, it must take seriously its obligations to protect the public interest and adopt strict and enforceable conditions.”

The FCC is expected to vote on the Comcast-NBC deal in early 2011. The U.S. Department of Justice is also reviewing the proposed buyout.

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Media contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org