Will Comcast’s Starz Feud Draw in Antitrust Enforcers?

U.S. lawmakers and 50 Cent are already rallying behind Starz.

On Oct. 31, 50 Cent posted to his Twitter account a photo of himself alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he called “My #1 Lady” after meeting with her. The chorus of politicians criticizing Comcast for booting Starz from its main bundle includes House Judiciary Committee member Hakeem Jeffries, who in an Oct. 30 letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch from six members of Congress said production jobs and popular TV series of “particular cultural significance to the African-American community” stood to be lost.

And Baltimore City Council in October voted unanimously to flag to the DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission that Comcast wasn’t complying with its franchise obligation to “offer content particularly viewed by diverse audiences.”

Sen. Susan Collins in a Sept. 19 letter to the DOJ is understood to have argued Comcast’s disrupting the Starz service potentially lessened competition in the pay TV programming and distribution markets and limited market choice for American consumers.

 

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