Al Franken Attacks Comcast Merger Deal

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Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) attacked the controversial Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, remarking that the cable giant is “swarming Capitol Hill [with] their lobbyists.”

Franken said during an interview that Comcast should not be able to merge with Time Warner, according to Politico.

The Minnesota Democrat, who pilloried the telecom giant and its plans to purchase Time Warner Cable at a congressional hearing Wednesday, continued his attack a day later—stressing in an interview that the $45.2 billion megadeal threatens competition and could spike consumers’ cable rates. [...]

Asked during the interview what he’d do with Comcast’s merger, the senator added, “The first thing I would do is not let the largest cable TV company buy the second-largest cable TV company.”

It’s the FCC and the Justice Department, not Congress, that has the final say on the deal—a fact Franken acknowledged Thursday. But lawmakers have a critical role to play: Hearings, like the Senate Judiciary Committee’s gathering this week, are where both sides can duke it out in a public forum.

Franken, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that heard testimony from Comcast on Wednesday, has taken $14,750 in campaign donations from Comcast since 2008.