Comcast/NBCU merger under congressional microscope

Wed, 06/09/2010 - 8:30am
CED staff

A congressional field hearing Monday in Los Angeles put representatives of Comcast and NBC Universal on the hot seat over their proposed merger.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the House Judiciary Committee held the field hearing at the California Science Center in south Los Angeles to address issues such as programming and workplace diversity that pertained to the merger.

The four-hour session was attended by more than 100 people and was convened by committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), but Los Angeles Rep. Maxine Waters created a stir when she intimated that someone from Comcast called her to ask her what she wanted.

Waters said she responded by stressing the need for workplace diversity, and she said that the Comcast person replied, “I’m talking about what do you want?” Comcast denied that there was an attempt to influence Waters or to give her what she wanted personally.

After the hearing, Waters declined to say more about the phone call.

The Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department are reviewing the merger, although Congress has budget oversight of both and has been holding hearings of its own.

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