Senator Wants Comcast To Sell Hulu Stake As Merger Condition


Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, is calling for a raft of strong conditions on any Comcast/NBCU deal, including that it divest its stake in online video site Hulu within a year and apply program access rules to online video.

That came in a letter from Kohl to the Justice Department and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in which Kohl said the proposed joint venture “has the potential for serious anticompetitive and anti-consumer effects in at least three respects.” Those are 1) ability of competitors to access NBC broadcast and cable content, 2) the ability of “independent programmers” and diverse voices to get a platform on the combined company, and 3) the impact on online distribution.

Kohl can’t block the merger but he and others can apply political pressure. More details at B&C.

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