Regime Demands Welfare as Condition of Comcast/NBC Merger

How many of you have heard that Comcast, the big cable network, was going to end up owning 51% of NBC?  The regulators have been working on a deal. It was supposed to be finalized in December but it wasn’t until now.  “Federal regulators approved Comcast Corp.’s takeover of a 51 percent stake NBC Universal on Tuesday after more than a year of review. They imposed various conditions on the nation’s largest cable TV provider, including those that would protect the burgeoning Internet video marketplace and promote the spread of broadband Internet access.

“Among the conditions imposed by [federal] regulators, Comcast must…” Listen to this now: “Make available to 2.5 million low income households: high-speed Internet access for less than $10 per month; personal computer, netbooks or other equipment for less than $150; and an array of digital literacy opportunities.” This is the regime. For 51% of NBC, Comcast has to “Make available to 2.5 million low income households: high-speed Internet access for less than $10 per month;” that means everybody else’s prices are gonna skyrocket, “personal computer, netbooks or other equipment for less than $150.” Does that mean if you want an iPad or a computer, you can go to Comcast and get one?  I didn’t know they sold them.  This is welfare.  This is digital welfare.  “[A]nd an array of digital literacy opportunities.” What in the heck is a digital literacy opportunity?  They must also “Maintain or increase local programming at its 10 NBC and 16 Telemundo TV stations,” and they must “Increase children’s programming.”  Whoa.

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