Aug. 20, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Lobbying Battle Over Comcast-NBC Deal Heads Into the New Year

The agreement won the praise of NAACP President Benjamin Jealous; Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League; and the Rev. Al Sharpton, the founder of the National Action Network.

“In recognition of Comcast’s leadership on diversity, we continue to express our support for the Comcast and General Electric proposed NBCU joint venture,” the three men stated in a Dec. 16 letter to Genachowski.

However, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a persistent critic of the merger, wrote a Monday letter to the commission in which she said that  many of Comcast’s diversity commitments appear to be “a series of vague goals and nominal gestures — lacking specificity and binding authority on the applicants.”

On Capitol Hill, the merger proposal has not resulted in the kind of angry partisan response engendered by the net neutrality rules, which elicited denunciations and vows of more FCC oversight from Congressional Republicans. But aside from Waters, a number of Democrats have opposed the sale, including Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), a former member of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Earlier this month, Franken asked the FCC to consider blocking the merger or imposing strict conditions on the sale to protect competition in the media and the Internet.

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