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Media reform news from around the web, curated by Free Press.
Updated: 1 hour 46 min ago

Comcast Sets Stage for Testy Senate Hearing, Telling FCC That Time Warner Cable Acquisition Serves Public

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 18:07
Deadline New York

Comcast EVP David Cohen just fleshed out in a press call some of his company’s arguments for the Time Warner Cable deal. To those who say the combined company would be too big he says that “in this particular case we think big is good” — it would be better able to offer new and improved services. And if Comcast is wrong “it doesn’t make any difference really because, as a customer, you’ll have the exact number of choices as you had before the transaction.” The only change: With Comcast instead of TWC as a broadband or video provider consumers’ “choice will be better.” He adds that Comcast is focused “like a laser” on improving the customer experience. (Sound familiar?)

One Billion Hearts, Bleeding as One

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 18:03
New Republic

Over the last 5 years, the Web has witnessed a dramatic degree of centralization and standardization. That mostly has made life simpler and easier. With accounts at just, say, Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook, you can now do almost anything you might like. But convenience, as alluring as it may be, comes with costs that are not always obvious at first. Heartbleed, the vulnerability in SSL encryption discovered yesterday, makes this clear, as did the NSA spying revelations last year.

Chuck Schumer Has Family Ties to Massive Comcast Deal

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 17:57
Huffington Post

Charles Schumer, a top Senate Democrat and member of the body's antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast's purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not mention that his brother was involved in the mega-deal.

Consolidation Critics Tell Wheeler to Block Comcast/TWC

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 17:56
Broadcasting & Cable

In the wake of Comcast's filing of the proposed Time Warner Cable merger with the FCC April 8, 50 public advocacy groups including Free Press, Public Knowledge and NOW, wrote FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to oppose the deal as "unthinkable" gatekeeper power over the Internet.

Franken: Comcast Called Time Warner Cable a Competitor Until It Wanted to Merge

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 17:13
Ars Technica

Comcast has repeatedly said the biggest reason U.S. regulators should approve its $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable is that the two companies do not compete against each other. While Comcast has more than 21 million customers and TWC has more than 11 million, there isn't a single city or town in America in which the two companies both offer video and Internet services.

Comcast Defends Time Warner Cable Merger

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 16:56
Crain's New York Business

The companies in a letter told the FCC that they'd be good for consumers. Consumer advocates disagree.

Comcast, Time Warner and Congress: Perfect Together

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 16:52
Moyers & Company

As the U.S. Senate holds its first hearing on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner deal — a $45 billion transaction that will affect millions of consumers and further pad some already well-lined pockets — it’s useful to get a look at how our elected officials have benefited from the largesse of the two companies with an urge to merge.

As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:42

Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable this morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argues the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so.

The Backlash to the Comcast Merger Is Now Bipartisan

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:33
Washington Post

Just because conservatives are beginning to line up alongside their liberal counterparts doesn't mean they'll be able to torpedo the deal. Neither does the White House's relationship with Comcast necessarily imply that the Justice Department and the FCC are in Big Cable's pocket. But the right's growing skepticism is a surprising turn for a party that tends to side with business as a matter of instinct.

Comcast, Rights Groups Send Letters to Federal Regulators on Comcast/TWC Merger

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:30

Comcast has begun to lay out its arguments to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department on why its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable should be approved.

Public Interest Groups Oppose Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:29
Consumer Affairs

There's about 7.5 billion people currently in the world, and one of them is bound to be of the opinion “Y'know, this proposed Comcast/Time Warner cable merger sounds like it would be genuinely awesome, and I believe this even though I neither work for nor own stock in those companies.” Unfortunately, I was unable to track down this person and request a quotable comment before I had to file this-here article about the more than 50 public interest groups who signed an open letter opposing the planned merger.

How the FCC Is Expanding Transparency

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:25
Sunlight Foundation

The FCC just made the cost of a Senate seat a lot easier to calculate. Last week, the FCC quietly signaled that — opposition from the National Association of Broadcasters notwithstanding — all broadcast TV stations must begin posting political ad buys online as of July 1.

Comcast Defends Time Warner Mega-Merger as Criticism Increases

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:19
Agence France-Presse

Comcast opens its campaign to get approval of its mega-merger with rival Time Warner Cable at a congressional hearing, amid intense criticism from some activists.

Comcast, Time Warner to Make Their Case to Congress

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:16
Washington Post

Executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable will visit Congress in an effort to make the case for their merger, aiming to convince lawmakers that the $45 billion deal is good for consumers and that the firms are not as dominant as opponents claim.

Comcast Faces Senate Grilling on Time Warner Cable Deal

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:11

Comcast's executive vice president testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to defend a $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable.

Watchdog Groups Take Aim at Comcast Before Hearing

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:08
Philadelphia Inquirer

Comcast's critics launched broadsides before the Senate Judiciary committee hearing on the company's merger even began.

Comcast Touts Consumer Benefits, Downplays Competition Issues Tied to Time Warner Deal

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:06

Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable will serve the public interest by expanding broadband Internet, video, and voice services to undeserved U.S. consumers, the company said in filings submitted April 8 to the FCC.