Thursday, July 28, 2005

Protect the internet

The LAT reports the FCC received over 10,000 emails on Wednesday objecting to the acquisition of Adelphia Communications Corp. by the nation's two leading cable TV providers — Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp.
FCC officials say the outpouring of disapproval was unusual for a media merger and was more commonly associated with issues such as media ownership.

Despite the objections, however, analysts said regulators were unlikely to block the $17.6-billion deal, which was struck in April pending approval of regulators and the Bankruptcy Court. Adelphia filed for bankruptcy protection three years ago amid an accounting scandal.
What? Why do they bother to solicit public opinion if they intend to ignore it? Fortunately, with the agency short a member and evenly split with two Republicans and two Democrats, any controversial decision will be stalemated until September when they can stack the deck again with another Republican.

This buys us some time to make our preference known on new media consolidation rules, which are pending. Free Press has an easy to send form letter but even better to send your own.
The Adelphia deal would give Comcast nearly 24 million subscribers, or about 26% of the nation's 92 million pay-TV customers, while giving Time Warner more than 13 million customers, or a 15% market share.
This is especially troubling in light of the fact that Comcast, in cahoots with Symantec, successfully conspired to block emails in the week prior to their third anniversary event - adversely impacting attendance at the events.

You have until August 8th to contact the FCC. Do it now.
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