DOJ Continues Policing Comcast Following NBCUniversal Acquisition

In Decenternet, News

Businesses turn to mergers to keep their operations continuous, but it doesn’t mean that unscrupulous practice should be retained or worse, evolve.

Comcast is one of the giant telecom companies that compete for neck-to-neck with other communication firms. It could be said that it became successful in annihilating the net neutrality regulations as well as privacy rules at the Federal Communications Commission. Every endeavor to establish competition in the market has been abolished. The company was also able to influence the federal agency to abandon its authority over telecom companies by handing it over to the FTC and has been nudging hard to cripple states from cushioning broadband and TV consumers alike.

The sanction placed by the DOJ on Comcast has expired. The conditions include the offering of discounted broadband, prevention of maiming Hulu’s driven capability and limitations on the telecom company’s approach of smaller video programmers and distributors. All of these will soon vanish giving Comcast more freedom to do its usual thing.

However, the DOJ will not let the telecom company get away just like that even if the restrictions have expired. It sent Comcast a memo last week informing them to behave still.

Justice Department’s antitrust division head Makan Delrahim said, “The department retains jurisdiction to enforce the antitrust laws and takes its obligations seriously. We would appreciate your cooperation in keeping us informed by providing the department with any plans you may have to change your policies or practices involving video programming and distribution.”

In 2011, Comcast won regulatory approval to acquire NBCUniversal after 13 months of review with both DOJ and FCC. Regulators carried out a couple of provisions intended to protect competition, especially in the developing online video arena.

Delrahim condemned agreements similar to the one that assuages Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal, definitely due to the pressure for open-ended keeping an eye on by watchdogs. It is one logic that the Justice Department disputed without success, that AT&T should be compelled to ditch some of its media assets as a provision of obtaining Time-Warner. The department has called upon the federal district court’s decision in the antitrust case.

Comcast has endured seven years of rules imposed by the government as a stipulation for permitting Comcast’s purchase of NBCUniversal in 2011. It necessitated Comcast to license NBCU’s programming to stream rivals as included in the conditions.

Merging with other companies could be a good strategy to stay in business. Wireless and cable providers should compete fairly with other companies, big or small. They also must not abuse their authority by taking the toll on consumers.

Since the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality took place, incidence of throttling has been reported. One is Verizon’s throttling of the Santa Clara Fire Department’s data which has been crucial in the putting out of wildfire in the Mendocino Complex.

Consumers can still achieve the protection of net neutrality in the Decenternet network. It does not discriminate contents, block, or slow them down. It also does not favor own contents over the others.


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