Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Media Giant Comcast Attempts Another Mega-Merger

Peter B. Collins Presents Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps

As a member of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Copps cast the only dissenting vote to the approval of Comcast's acquisition of NBC/Universal. In this conversation, he details his strong opposition to the new proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast with Time-Warner Cable, which would expand Comcast's dominance of cable distribution to 57%. We discuss the vertical integration of Comcast, with TV and film production at NBC/U and distribution via phone, broadband and paid cable. Copps refers frequently to "the public interest" requirements of the Communications Act, which are rarely considered in the approvals of deals like this consolidation by Comcast. We also discuss Net Neutrality and the new proposal from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, former top lobbyist for the cable TV and wireless phone industries.

*Michael Copps served as FCC Commissioner from 2001 to 2009, spent 12 years as a Senate staffer, and was a history professor at Loyola University, New Orleans. He is currently an adviser on Media and Democracy at Common Cause.

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  1. Such monopoly forming mergers are supposed to serve the public interest? Huh, I’ve always figured profit was the main intent and focus of such mergers. I’m continually infuriated at the costs these companies charge for their “services”. With a monster merger like this, the costs should drop, yet they never do. Not only do costs continue to rise, but the quality of the service seems to decrease annually. This whole issue with the FCC reminds me of the problems associated with the debate about GMO’s. where those who are supposed to be regulating the products (services) are really in bed with the corporations that provide the products and services.

  2. Your guest politely implies that Michael Powell’s motives as FCC Chair may have been innocent. To me, he appeared then as a criminal. Thinking he must be working for big telecom, I googled. He’s the President of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. Surprise.

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