The Realm of Debate on the proposed Comcast/NBC merger

Posted by Mitchell - June 29, 2010 (entry 650)

With weeks to go before the Chicago FCC event on the proposed Comcast/NBC merger, discussion on the proposed merger and its consequences are heating up.

There's the narrow question which will be the focus of the Chicago FCC event on July 13: Should the FCC approve the merger? On the one side, you have folks in favor of the merger like the Teamsters who say the merger would be "very much" in the union's interests (it won't; expect more layoffs) and Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley who claims that the companies have been "good corporate ctizens" (despite evidence to the contrary).

On the other side, you have folks opposing the merger like former employees of NBC (who happen to sit in the U.S. Senate), almost all non-white people, a bunch of people in South Los Angeles, and just about every activist group to the left of the Federalist Society.

Among the camp that oppose the merger, which is large and passionate, there is a difference in opinion as to tactical considerations. Some groups are calling for the merger to be blocked altogether. Others, many others with the guts to speak up are tacitly supporting the merger, probably because the merger would be a disaster for the company like other media mergers -- though it'd also be a disaster for more than just the company.

Comcast is trying to allay concerns, and the government vows to take a critical eye on the merger. It's important to remember that what's happening is not a done deal -- not by a long shot, and that while power can be intimidating, it's also very fragile, as we have seen time and again. Plus, remember that corporations have taken a black eye as of late, which leads many to critically examine the corporate edifice and posit possible alternatives. So be sure to attend the hearing, and stay tuned to this website for new developments.

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