Twenty five cable, satellite television and consumer groups led by the American Cable Association (ACA) wrote to President Obama and to members of Congress to seek strict conditions on Comcast’s planned $30 billion acquisition of NBC Universal (NBCU). These entities fear that the merger will result in higher prices and fewer choices for multichannel video subscribers and in restricted access to programming required by competitors of the merged entity. The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Free Press, the Consumers Union and the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies were included among the signers of the letter delivered late last week. Announced last month, the proposed merger of Comcast—the nation’s top cable system operator—and NBCU would create the largest producer and distributor of video programming in the nation, with control of two broadcast networks (NBC and Telemundo), 26 television broadcast stations, ten regional sports networks and a variety of national cable channels. Arguing that Comcast-NBCU would “become the country’s most powerful online and traditional programming company,” ACA and the other parties charged that the merged entity “would have strong incentives to discriminate against other multichannel video providers in granting access to its wealth of programming . . . as well as the market power to enforce anticompetitive ‘bundling.’” The parties further warned that, “driven by the need to increase cash flow and net income, Comcast-NBCU would have the incentive and ability to use its powerful array of media assets to compel competitors to pay more for programming than they should, especially in the area of retransmission consent for NBC broadcast stations.” The FCC and Justice Department are expected to take up to a year or more to review the deal.