Comcast/NBCU critics have joined to form a new group, the Coalition for Competition In Media, which they announced with, among other things, full-page ads in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times Thursday morning in advance of the House Communications Subcommittee field hearing there on the deal.
The coalition of 21 organizations, which says it opposes the deal "as proposed," comprises a host of familiar deal critics, including Free Press, Bloomberg, Media Access Project and the Writers Guilds East and West.
That group ranges from ones that outright oppose the merger to those seeking conditions like access to online content and carve-outs for independent programming.
In a letter to subcommittee Chair Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and subcommittee member Bobby Rush of Chicago (D-Ill.), the groups play off the title of the Chicago hearing, "Comcast and NBC Universal: Who Benefits?," to answer that question: "Not the American consumer; not small businesses; not media industry workers; not the cause of diversity in programming; and not the ongoing effort to build a more competitive media industry."
The coalition said the mergers "threats" need to be "mitigated through energetic applications of the government's regulatory authority."
The group has also launched a Web site, http://www.competitioninmedia.org/.