A Look Back: NBC's Words Against AOL/Time Warner Merger May Come Back To Haunt

from the ooops dept

NBC Universal is probably wishing that people didn't remember stuff from a few years ago right now. The folks over at the National Journal dug up NBC Univeral's vehement opposition to the AOL/Time Warner merger, which used all sorts of arguments that I would imagine NBC Universal would prefer were not used against its pending merger with Comcast. The letter, sent to the FCC in July of 2000 included this point:
"Given the size and scope of the proposed merged company, AOL/Time Warner will have both the ability and the incentive to discriminate against unaffiliated content providers such as NBC."
Furthermore, NBC Universal was quite worried about how that deal would impact net neutrality and asked the FCC to make clear net neutrality principles if it allowed the merger to move forward, asking the FCC:
"to establish firm principles of non-discrimination in the treatment of unaffiliated content providers in the broadband services marketplace"
Of course, Comcast is now very much against that concept.

Not surprisingly, the letter was signed by NBC Universal's General Counsel, Rick Cotton, who has a long history of sticking his foot in his mouth in saying things he later regrets -- such as his still hilarious quote about how corn farmers were being harmed by movie piracy, and who was a major source for the bogus Hollywood propaganda piece on 60 Minutes. Still, you have to imagine that he now regrets that letter -- and the fact that reporters have now brought it back to light.
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Filed Under: mergers, net neutrality, rick cotton
Companies: aol, comcast, nbc universal, time warner


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  1. identicon
    The NTSB, 8 Dec 2009 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Impressed

    We hereby banish the letter W from the English language for the amusement of all and hereby proclaim Dark Helmet engineer and conductor of this thread.

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