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WASHINGTON - According to press reports, Comcast announced on Saturday that it had assumed control of NBC Universal from General Electric. The nation's largest cable and broadband provider now has a 51 percent ownership stake in one of the nation's top content producers. Last week, federal regulators paved the way for the final deal. The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission both approved the merger with conditions.

Immediately following the takeover, more than 20 groups, including Free Press, Media Access Project, Women in Media and News, and the Writers Guild of America East, filed a letter with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski vowing to "be vigorous watchdogs, monitoring this newly merged media giant, and consistent advocates for the public interest." They asked the chairman to do the same and expressed concern that the merger would lead to more consolidation, fewer voices and fewer choices for the public.

Click here to view the letter:

Free Press President Josh Silver made the following statement:

"This deal is a win for Comcast, General Electric and NBC executives, and a devastating loss to everyone else, and to democracy itself. As of today, Comcast has an Orwellian amount of control over your media experience and your wallet. By controlling both information and the ways people access that information — by cable, broadcast and the Internet -- Comcast-NBC can and will block competition, stifle innovation and silence independent, opposing viewpoints.

“Comcast customers can expect to see their bills go up, as they foot the $30 billion tab. And even if you’re not a Comcast customer, you’re sure to end up paying more. Next, get ready for a merger wave, as other corporations seek out similar mega-deals to try to compete with Comcast-NBC. Putting too much media power in the hands of a single company is bad for the American people and for our democracy."

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