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House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton blasts FCC

January 18, 2011 |  1:12 pm

Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, along with Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.), chairman and vice chairman of the subcommittee on Communications and Technology, criticized the Federal Communications Commission's review of Comcast's deal to take control of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal.

"We are glad Comcast can now get back to doing business and creating jobs, but the price of doing so should not be coerced compliance with the heavy-handed tactics of an overreaching FCC," the three said in a statement.

The three congressmen were critical of conditions that the FCC put on Comcast in return for approving the deal that include having to make its content available to online video distribution services.

"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," the three said.

The congressmen added that they would be "examining whether changes in the FCC’s transaction review process are needed as we exercise congressional oversight in the weeks to come."

Related posts:

FCC and Justice Dept. approve Comcast-NBC deal

FCC likely to approve Comcast-NBC Universal deal with conditions

Comcast unveils management team for NBC Universal

 -- Joe Flint