Comcast's Roberts touts NBCU merger, ahead of a whole lot of interest by Washington
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts was in Washington this morning, touting his deal with NBC Universal at the State of the Net conference.
The Philly-based company filed its antitrust papers with Justice Department on Monday. Those papers aren’t public. Comcast will file its application for merger review with the Federal Communications Commission later this week, possibly Thursday, a spokeswoman said.
In a Q&A at the conference, Roberts reiterated that the merged company would be committed to local broadcasting and didn’t plan to turn NBC’s broadcast properties into cable channels. He said, of course, that he prefers an expeditious review by regulators and that current laws protect competitors that may fear Comcast would withhold content to its advantage.
Robert’s visit was one of many he will have to the nation’s capital as the merger of the country’s largest cable and Internet service provider with media giant NBC has drawn concerns by regulators and lawmakers. On Feb. 4, the Senate Antitrust subcommittee will hold a hearing to look at how the union could affect competition and consumers.
He also warned that there haven’t been enough examples of wrongdoing to merit new Net neutrality rules. And rules could prevent investors from putting more money into broadband providers that would have less flexibility to “innovate” on their networks.
“What happens when Wall Street dries up your capital spending?” he said.
January 27, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
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