Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, today released a statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the merger of Comcast with NBC Universal by a vote of 4 to 1.
"The DoJ and the FCC's 4 to 1 bipartisan approval of the Comcast-NBCU merger reflects a thoughtful effort to keep pace with advances in communications without sacrificing consumer protections. The process itself was productive and thorough, from the majority decision and the conditions imposed, right through to the principled opinion Commissioner Copps expressed in his dissent. The merger review process aimed to strike the right balance between a company's right to merge and the need to promote the public interest, and I believe the end result is a solid step forward.
"Final approval required commitments to diversity, increased access to affordable broadband service for low-income communities, quantifiable commitments to news and information programming, and a means for distributing independent programming, exactly the kind of conditions I advocated through our hearing and in my letter to the FCC. The newly merged firm also will not be able to favor its own content over its broadband pipes or deny content to subscribers of competing broadband service providers. These conditions are essential to our goal to protect consumers and allow more consumers to participate in the digital economy."