Franken 'concerned' about Comcast deal

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) urged federal regulators Thursday to critically look at Comcast's proposed $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable.

The deal would join the nation's biggest two cable companies, and Franken said he was worried it would consolidate too much power with Comcast. 

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“I have serious reservations about this proposed transaction, which would consolidate the largest and second largest cable providers in America,” Franken wrote in a letter to the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

“I urge you to act quickly and decisively to ensure that consumers are not exposed to increased cable prices and decreased quality of service as a result of this transaction,” Franken said.

The senator's views are particularly interesting because a big issue in the merger is likely to be questions about whether Comcast will have too much influence with content providers. 

Franken is a former television writer who wrote and performed on "Saturday Night Live."

Franken also opposed Comcast's acquisition of NBC-Universal, saying it was bad for consumers.

“Cable rates have risen significantly over the last two decades, and my constituents express frustration at being squeezed by unacceptably high cable bills every month,” Franken wrote. “Many consumers would switch cable providers if only they had a viable option to do so. … I am concerned that Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner would only make things worse for consumers.”