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Cantwell Fighting for Consumer Rights; On Comcast-NBC merger, says she's concerned about consumer protection


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement following news media reports that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski has issued a draft order to commissioners to approve the Comcast-NBC merger. For years, Cantwell has been fighting for measures to protect consumers in the telecommunications industry, promote innovation and investment, preserve the free and open internet, and ensure access to broadband in rural and underserved communities. Cantwell, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation which has jurisdiction over the FCC and telecommunication issues, continues to push for greater consumer choice and freedom in telecommunications.

"Without seeing the actual text of Chairman Genachowski's draft order, it is hard to know whether the proposed conditions will ensure consumers are not harmed," said Senator Cantwell."After the FCC's vote on its net neutrality rules earlier this week, I am much more skeptical. It will take a lot to convince me that this acquisition is in the public interest."

Just two days ago, after the FCC approved net neutrality rules that Cantwell said "don't do enough to make sure the Internet remains a source of American innovation and economic growth," Cantwell announced she would be introducing net neutrality legislation next Congress to ensure the Internet remains open and free and protects consumers.

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on March 11, 2010 regarding the Comcast-NBC merger, Cantwell told Chairman Genachowski she could not support the Comcast-NBC merger. Cantwell cited a need to ensure media diversity and concern over limited consumer choice resulting from one of the largest carriers of internet, phone, and cable merging with content.

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