Comcast Corp. president Brian Roberts spoke by phone Monday with Federal
Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell in an effort to protect the
confidentiality of the broadband-carriage deal AOL Time Warner Inc. reached in
August with Comcast and AT&T Corp., FCC records showed.
Internet provider EarthLink Inc. and various consumer groups are demanding
that the FCC require AT&T and Comcast to surrender the agreement to the FCC
and allow eligible parties to review it in under confidential procedures.
The demand came in connection with the FCC's ongoing review of the proposed
merger between AT&T Broadband and Comcast.
During the phone call, Roberts urged Powell to reject those disclosure
requests. He said the AOL carriage deal was irrelevant to the FCC's merger
review, and he feared that the 'highly proprietary, confidential nature' of the
agreement would be compromised at the FCC.
Andrew Jay Schwartzman -- president of Media Access Project, a group pressing
to see terms of the AOL deal -- took strong exception to the view that he would
fail to obey FCC rules designed to block the unauthorized disclosure of
'It is unfortunate for Brian Roberts to presume that the commission won't
maintain security of the documents,' Schwartzman said. 'If he doesn't trust us
to adhere to such representations, I'd like him to say it to us