President Donald Trump attacked Comcast on Monday, citing the American Cable Association’s “big problems” with the telecommunications behemoth and its alleged violations of anti-trust laws.
American Cable Association has big problems with Comcast. They say that Comcast routinely violates Antitrust Laws. “These guys are acting much worse, and have much more potential for damage to consumers, than anything AT&T-Time Warner would do.” Charlie Gasparino
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
The president had apparently just watched a Fox Business Network segment where guest Charlie Gasparino spoke on the American Cable Association’s (ACA) issues with Comcast, and mentioned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) might look into claims of anti-trust violations regarding its merger with NBC.
“Remember, when Comcast bought NBC Universal — government opposed it. They came out with a sort of, I guess, compromise where they would agree to certain conditions,” Gasparino said to Fox Business Network (FBN) host Neil Cauto on Monday. “Those conditions elapsed back in September. What the ACA is saying is that Comcast is still acting in an anti-compeititve way, using its content from NBC Universal, including Hulu, essentially to force rival cable distributors … to pay up.”
“Those are the providers that make up the membership of the cable association,” he continued.
The FBN interview came the same day as the American Cable Association’s release of a lengthy statement, making the case that the Department of Justice should investigate Comcast for anti-trust violations. Since the Comcast-NBC merger took place in 2011, the DOJ and Federal Communications Commission oversaw certain conditions placed on them. However, the DOJ and FCC have since rolled back their oversight. (RELATED: With Net Neutrality Repealed, Comcast Says It Stopped Throttling Heavy Internet Users)
The cable association — which represents hundreds of smaller broadband companies — believes more conditions must be placed on Comcast for the sake of a competitive cable broadband market.
Trump has long despised Comcast and NBC Universal because of its ownership of MSNBC and other platforms critical of him. The Republican president has called NBC “fake news” regularly and allegedly referred to Comcast itself as “public enemy number one.”
“Trump does not like Comcast. We should point out that the president of the United States himself has privately referred to Comcast as ‘public enemy number one.’ Why is that? They own NBC, MSNBC. They distribute it throughout the country,” Gasparino explained. “So he knows their power.”
In a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation, Comcast hit back hard against the ACA’s letter, referring to it as an “inappropriate attempt to gain leverage the commercial marketplace.”
“The video programming and distribution markets are incredibly competitive. New programmers and distribution platforms are offering consumers increasing choices on what and where to watch,” read the Comcast statement. ” At Comcast NBCUniversal, we are competing in this dynamic environment the way we always have – by continuing to innovate and conducting our business in compliance with antitrust laws and other legal requirements.
Update: This article was updated to include a statement from Comcast.
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