FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants us all to think that he’s looking out for us. He must also think we’re stupid. Anti trust statutes clearly state that a monopoly may not be used to gain an advantage in additional markets. There’s no mention of this in any of the government whitewash that is concealing the fact that NBC Comcast merger isn’t even worthy of consideration in the current marketplaces Comcast and NBC play in. Never the less, Genachowski is putting on a dog and pony show to make his blessing on the deal look more legitimate to the unwashed masses in flyover country.
The conditions laid out Thursday by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski
are intended to guarantee that satellite providers and other rival
television services can still carry marquee NBC programming and that new
Internet video distributors can get the content they need to grow and
Comcast’s takeover of NBC Universal
could have profound consequences for the nascent market for Internet
video — a market that could eat into Comcast’s core cable TV business if
enough consumers drop their cable subscriptions in favor of low-cost
Genachowski wants to ensure that Comcast won’t be
able to use its control over NBC’s vast media empire to withhold content
from emerging online competitors such as Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc.
and Apple Inc. — locking consumers into costly monthly cable bills to
get access to a wide range of popular programming. (Yahoo)
Anyone who thinks that it will be possible to keep Comcast from using it’s control over NBC to gain unfair advantage clearly doesn’t understand business. Business all out war, dirty tricks and all. This is doubly true in the entertainment and cable industry. Gentlemen’s agreements are never honored. And monopolists always seek out government and regulating bodies to gain advantage and maintain a monopoly.
The only condition that should be given to Comcast / NBC are as follows: Either divest from Internet Access and broadcast properties or open a dozen or so channels on the coax to be leased to competitive access providers at a fair wholesale rate. Anything less will create an advantage the regulators will never be able to control. It’s something akin to allowing Exxon to own half of the freeways along with half of the gasoline business and then allowing it to buy GM.
I’m not singling out Comcast. You can’t have sole rights to the pipe, content and value added services without lots of help from people in high places. It’s not a natural monopoly and could never happen without government sanction. It’s time for government to return to it’s chartered role of insuring a level playing field for an unlimited number of businesses to compete instead of sanctioning oligarchies.