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Public Interest Groups Call on Congress, Justice to Investigate TV Everywhere

Free Press and a number of other groups are calling on
Congress and the Justice Department to investigate TV Everywhere, the online
video effort led by Comcast and Time Warner.

Free Press, joined by Media Access Project, Public Knowledge and Consumers
Union, allege "collusion" in a letter to Congress.  "We're basically saying that the point
of antitrust is that these companies aren't supposed to work together to keep
competitors out of the market."

The report is from Free Press legal fellow and University
of Nebraska law professor Marvin
Ammori, who
has argued
that TV Everywhere is an assault by the cable industry on
"open TV."

also comes as no surprise
from groups that have been critical of the cable
effort from the outset.

The groups were said to be scrambling to get the report out Monday, which would
be in advance of Comcast's expected public interest filing with the FCC as it
seeks to merge with NBCU.

One of the criticisms leveled at that deal is its competitive affect on the
Hulu online video site in which NBC is a major player.

"Time Warner is committed to providing consumers who subscribe to cable, satellite, telephone or other multi-video platforms with more value for their money, by allowing them to watch their favorite shows when they want to watch them on both their TVs and over the Internet at no additional charge," said the company in a statement. "That is what TV Everywhere is, and it is quite plainly beneficial for consumers. We will also continue to pursue many other ways to distribute in a safe and secure way over the Internet our content to people, whether or not they subscribe to a video service."