If you didn't already know it, you should now; Minnesota Sen. (and former NBC employee) Al Franken is really, really opposed to the Comcast-NBC Universal merger. He made that clear when he grilled Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on her thoughts on the deal.
"When the same company owns programming and runs the pipes that bring us programming, I think we have a problem. I'm interested in the ways the Supreme Court affects the info that you and I get when you turn on the TV or read the newspaper," he told her. Franken suggested that a successful merger could lead AT&T or Verizon to grab ABC or CBS. "That's a First Amendment problem," he told her. "It's also an anti-trust problem."
Kagan, used to facing questions about her legal background and qualifications to be a justice, said the First Amendment does not generally "provide defense to anti-trust laws" that "apply to all companies." The merger, she said, is about corporations and she would "defer to people who know a lot more about anti-trust policy than I do."
In other merger news, Comcast said it will add a Latino to its board, but that the move has nothing to do with complaints like the one from Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition that the MSO "does not have a great diversity record."
Finally (for today at least) Comcast said it has resubmitted documents and data the FCC requested to continue its study of the merger. The agency is still waiting for NBC to do the same.
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