It was only a matter of time before Congress cranked up hearings on the proposed $30 billion merger between Comcast and NBC Universal. The first hearing to cue up will be held Feb. 4 before the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee chaired by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.).
The hearing, announced Wednesday (Jan. 20), is expected to examine how the deal will impact broadcast TV, cable services, Internet delivery of programming and consumer choice.
"Comcast is the nation's largest cable company, with almost 24 million subscribers; its acquisition of NBC Universal will add programming and media to its control, raising concerns about whether the deal will give the new entity an unfair advantage in the marketplace at the expense of consumers," the subcommittee said in a statement.
Brian Robert, chairman and CEO of Comcast; and Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, are scheduled to testify, among others.