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Saturday, April 23, 2011

On the Merger of Comcast and NBC: A Structural Conflict of Interest

On January 18, 2011, Comcast received government approval to acquire NBC Universal. This followed a lengthy review, which mandated a list of conditions. The most important of them is aimed at preventing the new media conglomerate from thwarting competition in online video. However,even though regulators described their review as the most intense scrutiny ever for a planned media merger, Comcast managers said they believed their company faced few onerous restrictions from the review. “I don’t think any of the conditions are particularly restrictive,” said David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast. This statement ought to give readers some pause.

The full essay is at Institutional Conflicts of Interest, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.