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Bloomberg Opposes Comcast's Extra Comment

Bloomberg President Daniel Doctoroff Friday asked the FCC to swiftly resolve the company's complaint against Comcast.

In the letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the Bloomberg top executive officially submitted the company's opposition to Comcast's Sept. 27 request to file comments after the official pleading cycle had ended to counter what it said were new claims.

Bloomberg filed the complaint with the FCC in June, asking it to require Comcast to move its Bloomberg Television news channel into "existing news neighborhoods" on Comcast systems, saying that not to do so violates a condition in the FCC's order approving the NBCU deal.  Comcast replied to the complaint, then Bloomberg's final volley was an 82-page defense of its definition of news neighborhood and argument that Comcast moves channels all the time and would not be put out by doing so again, which it filed at the end of last month.

Comcast asked the FCC to consider its "surreply," which is an additional comment, because it said Bloomberg had brought up new arguments and introduced flawed data that needed addressing.

In his letter Friday, Doctoroff said Comcast's filing of the surreply after the close of the pleading cycle was "part of a transparent pattern on the part of Comcast to forestall the day when it finally will be required to abide by the news neighborhooding condition."

He also pointed out that the news neighborhooding condition is only in effect for seven years and that over 10% of that enforcement period is already over. He said that delay has already cost his company and further damages it with each passing day. It also hurts the public, he said, which is "entitled to have the protections of the merger conditions that were deemed necessary to safeguard the public interest."

Without those protections, he said, the potential effectiveness and meaning of future conditions in other mergers is called into question. "It is therefore vital for the Commission to take swift action to resolve Bloomberg's complaint," he said.