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Susan P Crawford

Merger Made Comcast Strong, U.S. Web Users Weak: Susan Crawford

On a gray day in February 2010, Brian Roberts sat facing the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee. The panel was holding its first hearing on a proposed merger between two of the country’s most powerful media companies, the cable distribution giant Comcast Corp. and the entertainment conglomerate NBC Universal.

Roberts, the chief executive officer of Comcast, was a calm and friendly witness. If the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission approved the merger, Comcast’s future as the largest distributor of information in the country would be assured.