The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) issued this statement today in response to the FCC’s approval of the Comcast-NBC U merger:

“The Writers Guild of America, East is disappointed by the FCC’s approval of the joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal. We consistently have opposed this action because entertainment and news media already are too consolidated; too few multinational mega-corporations control what people watch on television and in movie theaters. The Comcast/NBCU deal is particularly frightening because it brings together one of the largest internet service and cable TV providers with one of the largest content providers.  Without strong and meaningful safeguards, the economics of the deal virtually mandate that Comcast/NBCU will discriminate in favor of its own content and leave writers and other independent members of the creative community out in the cold. This will impact not only entertainment programming but the diversity of news and public affairs voices so vital to a democracy.We applaud Commissioner Copps for his opposition to the deal as approved.  While we also appreciate that the FCC has conditioned its approval on a number of commitments made by Comcast and NBCU, with all due respect, we think these conditions simply make the venture a little less disastrous.  Time will tell if writers and other creators will be squeezed out of the internet, and if a small handful of powerful entities continue to control what people watch. “  The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO, is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The WGAE conducts programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers. In addition, it represents writers’ interests on the legislative level.  For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org.###