Comcast/NBC Venture – I don’t know what to think

I have been writing in support of the net neutrality cause for several years (e.g., a recent post describing core concepts in Tim Wu’s book). Today, it appears that the FCC approved a joint venture of cable provider Comcast and content creator NBC. This is exactly the type of arrangement Wu, who proposed the phrase Net Neutrality, argues is dangerous.

However, in making the decision allowing the merger, the FCC stipulated certain requirements designed to address certain issues identified by net neutrality advocates:

Many of the conditions focus on the burgeoning online video industry, ensuring that Comcast doesn’t stifle competition there with its control over access to content and so many shows.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski approved of the joint venture late December, saying that ultimately the union would benefit consumers as Comcast promised to contribute more local news and informational programming on some channels, more programming aimed at children and minorities, and $9.95 broadband Internet service for low-income households. (Washington Post)

I do not that Senator Al Franken has been specifically opposed to this merger evidently without success.

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