Republican Reps Urge FCC To Approve Comcast-NBCU

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Almost two dozen, mostly Republican, representatives told the FCC June 17 that they were concerned about "any further delay" in the FCC's review of the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal joint venture.

Led by Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Joe Barton (R-Tex.) and Communications Subcommittee ranking member Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the reps said in a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski that they believed the voluntary public-interest commitments the two companies have made should be sufficient to "compel the commission to conclude that the transaction, without any additional conditions, furthers the public interest and should be approved.

They want the FCC to reject calls for field hearings on the deal beyond the July 13 forum in Chicago it has already scheduled.

"The commission should act on this pro-consumer, pro-competition transaction without delay," they said, praising Genachowski for his handling of the review so far. The FCC has rejected a couple of requests to extend the comment deadline, though it did extend the deadline 45 days so that Comcast and NBCU could file more info.

Barton and Stearns were the same legislators who criticized Genachowski and the FCC Thursday for the FCC's proposal to reclassify broadband transmissions as a Title II service.

The deadline for comments and petitions to deny -- expected to include petitions from Media Access Project, Free Press and others -- is June 21.

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