GE and Comcast Deal: Statement by Consumers Union

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Policy Counsel
Senior Director of Federal Policy and the Washington Office

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We empower consumers through education and action about communication and media issues involving telephone, cable, Internet and wireless services and equipment.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2009

WASHINGTON — Today, General Electric reached an agreement that paves the way for Comcast to buy NBC Universal. Currently, Comcast is the nation’s largest cable operator and largest provider of residential high-speed Internet services. NBC Universal is a global media company with huge interests in TV programming, film, cable, TV and the Internet.

Joel Kelsey, policy analyst for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, warned that the potential deal would likely be trouble for consumers and asked the federal government to prevent the consumer and competitive harm this merger would create:

“There appears to be very little in this deal that is good for consumers. One media giant would have unprecedented control over both communications services and TV and Internet content. This kind of massive media consolidation will lead to higher prices and fewer independent sources of information. The federal government should approach this merger with deep skepticism.”

MEDIA CONTACT: David Butler or Kristina Edmunson, Consumers Union, 202-462-6262, dbutler@consumer.org or kedmunson@consumer.org

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.