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WASHINGTON -- Comcast will raise its cable TV rates by almost 4 percent in some areas of the country starting Aug. 1.

According to the Sacramento Bee, customers with a "digital starter" package of 80-plus channels now pay $61.99 per month. That rate will rise to $63.25 per month. Comcast's Internet customers in the affected areas will also see a price increase.

Josh Stearns, Free Press associate program director, issued the following statement:

“On the eve of the Federal Communications Commission’s public hearing on Comcast’s proposed merger with NBC Universal, Comcast reminds us that we have cause for concern about the impact of this union. When one company holds too much power in the media marketplace, consumers see higher bills, homogenized content and fewer viable competitors. If this merger is approved, Comcast will control one in every five viewing hours on TV.”

The FCC is holding a hearing on Comcast’s proposed takeover of NBC on July 13, 2010, from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The public is invited to participate in this hearing at Northwestern University Law School, 375 East Chicago Avenue, Thorne Auditorium, in Chicago, IL, 60611. For more information, go to

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