“After a thorough review of yesterday’s announcements by the FCC and DOJ, the WGAW disagrees with their decisions approving the Comcast-NBCU merger. Even with the conditions placed on the merger by the FCC and the DOJ, we believe this merger is anti-competitive and is not in the public interest or the interests of our members. The WGAW remains committed to joining with other organizations and individuals to continue the fight for an open Internet, independent production, and diversity of voices in all media.”
Here’s yesterday’s WGA, East’s statement:
“The Writers Guild of America, East is disappointed by the FCC’s approval of the joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal. We consistently have opposed this action because entertainment and news media already are too consolidated; too few multinational mega-corporations control what people watch on television and in movie theaters. The Comcast/NBCU deal is particularly frightening because it brings together one of the largest internet service and cable TV providers with one of the largest content providers. Without strong and meaningful safeguards, the economics of the deal virtually mandate that Comcast/NBCU will discriminate in favor of its own content and leave writers and other independent members of the creative community out in the cold. This will impact not only entertainment programming but the diversity of news and public affairs voices so vital to a democracy.
We applaud Commissioner Copps for his opposition to the deal as approved. While we also appreciate that the FCC has conditioned its approval on a number of commitments made by Comcast and NBCU, with all due respect, we think these conditions simply make the venture a little less disastrous. Time will tell if writers and other creators will be squeezed out of the internet, and if a small handful of powerful entities continue to control what people watch.”
The Independent Film & Television Alliance had this to say:
“Despite our ongoing concern about the effects of industry wide consolidation, we are satisfied that the FCC and the DOJ have acted responsibly in their approval today of the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, recognizing the significant commitments that the parties have already made to meet public and private concerns about the impact of this transaction.
“The closing of the joint venture triggers the July 12, 2010, agreement between the Independent Film and Television Alliance and Comcast-NBCU, which will provide real opportunities for independent producers on the Comcast and NBC platforms, and increase the public’s access to diverse programming. In force for four years, the agreement includes increased development and pitch opportunities, a development fund devoted to independents and greater access to Comcast’s new media platforms. We hope that this agreement can be a model that can be implemented across the industry. “