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WOW! CEO Colleen Abdoulah To Testify Before Congress Twice On Feb. 4

American Cable Association board member Colleen Abdoulah, president and CEO of WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone, is to testify Feb. 4 before two congressional committees to express the concerns of small cable operators about the proposed merger between Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal announced on Dec. 3, 2009.
At 9:30 a.m. EST, Ms. Abdoulah is scheduled to testify before the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. The hearing will be webcast live at www.energycommerce.house.gov.

At 2:30 p.m. EST, Ms. Abdoulah is slated to appear before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. The hearing will be webcast live at http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=4347

In case you miss Ms. Abdoulah's live appearances, both committees maintain video archives on their Web sites for on-demand viewing of past hearings.

WOW! has extensive competitive cable television systems in the Midwest. Today, it serves approximately 465,000 cable television customers. In its Chicago and Detroit markets, WOW! competes directly with Comcast's cable systems and NBC's television stations and its Internet distribution platform in numerous markets, covering approximately 1 million households.

ACA is a member of a broad coalition of industry, labor and public interest groups concerned that the Comcast-NBC Universal merger would inflict anticompetitive harms on small cable operators and injure consumers by imposing business models that both drive up cable rates and require the purchase of unwanted content available on cable systems and the Internet. The coalition detailed those concerns in a recent letter to President Barack Obama and members of Congress.

"ACA intends to scrutinize fully the proposed transaction between Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal and will ask both the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to protect consumers by ensuring that Comcast-NBCU does not have the incentive or ability to engage in anticompetitive conduct that results in higher rates and less choice for consumers," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "A month ago, Comcast-NBCU pledged to operate in a manner consistent with certain ‘public interest commitments.' Because Comcast and NBCU drafted these public interest commitments on their own, it shouldn't shock anyone that they are totally porous and inadequate."

 

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