Reps Call FCC’s Comcast-NBCU Approval a ‘Shakedown’

The second the regulators approved the Comcast-NBC Universal joint venture, congressional leaders chimed in. For the newly minted Republican-controlled Energy and Commerce Committee, the approval was just one more example of overreaching authority by the Federal Communications Commission.

Committee chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), chair and vice chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, respectively, took aim at the FCC’s approval, calling it a “shakedown.”

FCC oversight hearings are on the way in the coming weeks.

“The FCC’s efforts to circumvent both the free market and courts by railroading job- and investment-harming net neutrality provisions, as well as regulation of nascent Internet-distributed video, represent more of a Chicago-style shakedown than the thoughtful deliberation this transaction deserved. We will be examining whether changes in the FCC’s transaction review process are needed as we exercise congressional oversight in the weeks to come,” the representatives said in a statement.