Congressional hearings have two parts: written testimony and the Q&A that all too often sounds like it is scripted. While the companies aren’t publicizing the remarks in advance of Thursday’s command performance in Washington, the written testimony has already been submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on communications, technology and the internet. So what will Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) CEO Jeff Zucker tell the House in their joint statement?
Absolutely nothing that will surprise anyone — although they do confirm that the joint venture will retain the NBCU name. But if you want to read a carefully laid out defense of the deal with possible regulatory, congressional and consumer group objections in mine, it’s worth your time.
From the top, the two hit the question of how the merger will benefit consumers: (Opponents to the merger start with the opposite tack — how will it hurt consumers?) Their arguments: increased investment by getting putting NBCU under the control of media company, not a manufacturer like GE; investing in NBCU will keep/create jobs; and commitment to “quality”news, sports, and local programming.
As for competition and antitrust complaints, the two contend: “The proposed transaction is primarily a vertical combination of NBCU