WASHINGTON, January 20, 2010 - The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will convene a hearing on February 4 to examine the proposed merger of Comcast with NBC Universal and its potential for negative consequences for consumers and competition, Chairman Herb Kohl, D-Wis. said on Wednesday.
The hearing, entitled "The Comcast/NBC Universal Merger: What Does the Future Hold for Competition and Consumers?" will feature as its star witnesses Brian Roberts and Jeff Zucker, Chief Executive Officers of Comcast and NBC-Universal, respectively.
Among much-discussed technology and communications proposals, the Comcast-NBC proposal rivals the battle between Microsoft and Google for a suitable partnership with search pioneer Yahoo! in 2008, and the successfully consummated acquisition of XM Satellite Radio by Sirius Satellite Radio.
In addition to Roberts and Zucker, witnesses from competitors of each company, and consumer advocates will be represented, said a spokesman for Kohl.
The February 4 hearings will be both executives' first opportunity to experience congressional oversight of the acquisition.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V. has also expressed a desire to hold hearings on the merger at the full committee level. Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., has also said his panel would examine potential consequences the deal would have for the Internet.