New Media Rights Coalition: Coalition for Competition in Media

“Comcast eats GE, NBC owned by cable provider” by Flickr user Avatar/ΣΙΓΜΑ used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license

The Coalition for Competition in Media began to oppose the Comcast-NBC merger, because of the serious threats it posed to independent creators and consumers.

We join Free Press, Public Knowledge and the Media Access Project along with a diverse array of workers in the industry, content creators and distributors, small and minority media interests, and media firms in The Coalition for Competition in Media.

New Media Rights advocated against the Comcast-NBC merger because of the harms this kind of vertical integration, positioning Comcast as one of the nation’s key content producers and content distributors, puts too much control over the nation’s media in the hands of one company.

New Media Rights supports citizen media creators who rely on access to a variety of platforms to share their content and build support to continue their work. Independent and public media organizations work in communities to lower barriers to entry for all people and share vital community stories often overlooked in other media. This merger threatens to undermine the independent and public media organizations that enable such speech and creativity, and the independent voices who use these services to make themselves heard.  

The merger of Comcast and NBC was approved on January 18th, 2011. We strongly believe that this merger is harmful to our community of independent and public media organizations, and would do a disservice to independent voices throughout our nation. While we recommended rejection of the merger, we also encouraged legislators that if the merger is allowed to proceed, regulators must make specific, and significant demands and conditions on Comcast-NBC.  We argued the merged company should, at the very least:

  • make commitments not to engage in discriminatory behavior towards other content
  • providers large and small, including refraining from interfering or disabling distribution technologies.   
  • be forced to cease anti-competitive bundling and marketing practices.
  • commit  to building high-quality, affordable broadband out to communities previously without access.
  • provide significantly increased support to public access.

While some conditions were placed on the merger, we are concerned these conditions do not go far enough to ensure that the new Comcast-NBC does not have detrimental affects on independent and public media.

Quick reference to our work on the Comcast NBC merger:

Citizen Guide to the Comcast-NBC merger:

http://www.newmediarights.org/nmr/mega_merger_comcast_and_nbc_lethal_marriage

Art Neill's Op-Ed on what the Comcast-NBC merger means for San Diego:

http://www.newmediarights.org/business_models/why_comcast_nbc_merger_matters_san_diego

Coalition to President Obama: Comcast-NBC merger must be a "rigorous regulatory process"

 

Comcast eats GE, NBC owned by cable provider” by Flickr user Avatar/ΣΙΓΜΑ used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license

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