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‘Seattle Times’ Disses Potential NBCU/Comcast Merger

The Seattle Times has come out against an NBCU/Comcast merger.

In an editorial Sunday, the paper called it an arrangement “made for mischief” and urged federal regulators to block it if the deal does indeed get done.

The paper said the deal, which would combine a movie studio, news outlets and cable programming “is ripe for high prices being foisted on viewers and smaller cable companies that could be charged a lot more to have their content carried over Comcast’s vast system.”

The paper says the merger, if it happens, will be a test of the FCC and Federal Trade Commission and the Obama administration’s inclination to take a harder look at mergers than the Bush administration did.

“Better for regulators to block the deal and design media rules that reflect the needs of modern consumers and foster media diversity,” the paper concludes.

No deal has yet been done, but any merger would be expected to come with conditions, either imposed from the FCC, Justice Department or the FTC, or offered up by the companies in an effort to assuage any concerns.

Various media consolidation foes have expressed their reservations about a merger, including Free Press, which has already launched a campaign to block it, saying it would lead to fewer choices and higher prices.