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FCC chair, DOJ's Varney to testify on Comcast-NBC merger

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and the nation's top antitrust watchdog at the Justice Department will testify Thursday at a Senate hearing on Comcast and NBC Universal's proposed merger. The Senate Commerce Committee said it will hold a hearing to explore competitive risks and potential harms to consumers that may stem from the merger of the nation's largest cable and Internet service provider with a media powerhouse.

The FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, and Justice's Christine Varney, assistant attorney general for antitrust, will be witnesses for a first panel during a hearing that begins at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The hearing is the fourth in recent weeks, as lawmakers explore how the $30 billion union could lead to higher prices for consumers and warnings by consumer groups that viewers could have less choice in programming.

This will be the first hearing that the two top regulators, who are currently reviewing the merger, will appear before Congress. It is unclear if Genachowski and Varney will directly address the merger, as they have been careful not to give any indication of their decision.

By Cecilia Kang  |  March 9, 2010; 12:18 PM ET
Categories:  Comcast , DOJ , FCC  | Tags: Comcast merger, DOJ, FCC, NBC Universal  
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