U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders tells Justice to block Comcast-NBCU deal

For those three or so people who haven't yet figured out why the Comcast-NBC Universal merger is taking so long to complete, here's a clue. A day after House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton fired off a veiled threat to the FCC that it had better approve the deal, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sent his own letter to the Justice Department assistant attorney general Christine Varney voicing "firm opposition to the deal."

Where Upton saw a merged company as a business bonanza, Sanders said it would actually lessen competition in "three distinct markets: (1) the market for video programming, (2) the market for traditional distribution through cable, and (3) the emerging market for online distribution," according to the letter.

Despite what Comcast executives have said about expanding new ideas across multiple platforms, Sanders, in his letter, said that the deal would "not only harm consumers by increasing prices but also by restricting the free flow of ideas, thereby striking at the very foundation of our democratic society."

For more:
- see Sen. Sanders' letter (PDF)

Related articles:
Commerce chairman Upton urges FCC to move ahead with Comcast-NBCU merger decision
Roberts: Wearing two hats could make Comcast a peacemaker in retrans disputes
Report: Justice Dept. dialing in on Comcast-NBCU deal

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