Monday, December 20, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, today sent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) petitions signed by more than 55,000 people in opposition to cable company Comcast’s proposed buyout of NBC Universal.
“This deal has serious problems that have struck a chord with a lot of consumers, including Comcast customers,” said Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “This is a bad deal because it would give Comcast powerful incentives to withhold NBC content from competitors and drive up prices for cable TV and Internet. The combination of Comcast and NBC would be a media giant with great potential for abusive behavior. In this economy, consumers should not be at risk of bigger bills for cable and Internet service.”
Consumers Union recently launched a web site called www.SayNoToComcastNBC.org where consumers can sign on to express their opposition to the deal to the FCC.
Desai said, “The companies maintain they can be trusted not to engage in anti-competitive practices, but Comcast has a well-documented history of treating customers poorly. Comcast routinely hits people with rate hikes and slaps penalties on those who want to switch to another company for better service.”
In addition to the web site SayNoToComcastNBC.org, Consumers Union recently unveiled a large, mobile billboard on the streets of Washington. The billboard has a tongue-in-cheek image of a boa constrictor that resembles a TV cable. The “cable constrictor” is wrapped around a TV set, and the tagline reads “Don’t Constrict Choice – Reject the Comcast Buyout of NBC.” The group has also taken out print and online ads aimed at D.C. policymakers (To see the billboard, visit http://bit.ly/eNFLK7 To see the ad, visit http://bit.ly/gD7DAk).
Media Contact:David Butler, Consumers Union, 202-462-6262