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Update: Kevin Martin, former FCC Chair, to fight against Comcast-NBCU

Kevin Martin, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will be helping to fight against Comcast's proposed $30 billion merger with NBC Universal.

According to the Communications Workers of America, Martin will work for the labor union as a consultant and adviser. As FCC chairman, Martin had led a crusade for a la carte pricing of cable services. Martin also ruled in 2008 that Comcast violated open-Internet guidelines at the FCC by slowing traffic of file-sharing application BitTorrent. He currently co-leads the telecom practice of law firm Patton Boggs.

CWA has criticized the deal, saying it could lead to job losses, weaker union power and hurt competition in the media industry.

In a House Judiciary hearing Thursday, CWA president Larry Cohen will argue that the merged company will be weaker than two separate companies.

"The proposed Comcast acquisition of NBC poses considerable harm to workers," Cohen wrote in a written testimony. "As part of the transaction, NBC debt will increase by approximately $8 billion. As a result, the new entity will be under intense pressure to cut costs and jobs. This is an all too familiar pattern in the media sector."

Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts and NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker are scheduled to appear in the House Judiciary Committee hearing that begins at 10 a.m. The hearing, following similar ones last month, will look at any anti-competitive effects of the merger that brings together the nation's biggest Internet and cable service provider with the media giant, NBC Universal.

By Cecilia Kang  |  February 24, 2010; 6:04 PM ET
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Bring back the ala carte pricing movement! -there's a reason why Comcast is rolling in cash!

Posted by: Hattrik | February 24, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

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