Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., this week warned that Comcast (CMCSA) may pull NBC Universal programming from Netflix (NFLX) when the agreement is next up for renewal, Ars Technica reported. Franken opposed the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, which federal regulators approved earlier this week.
Speaking at a Netroots Nation gathering in Minnesota, Franken said the merger will increase television subscription prices and stifle competition from potentially cheaper sources of entertainment distribution, such as Netflix. Franken, a former cast member and writer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live," also said the Federal Communication Commission's rules regarding net-neutrality are too weak.
The Comcast deal calls for the country's largest cable company to buy 51% of NBC Universal from General Electric (GE) for $13.8 billion. The Federal Communications Commission imposed several regulations on the deal, including requiring Comcast to make NBC programming available to competing cable companies, satellite operators and other Internet video services. With the acquisition, Comcast also gains a 30% stake in Hulu, a competitor to Netflix in streaming video.
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