By Gautham Nagesh - 12/13/10 09:44 PM EST
Incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) wrote to the Federal Communications Commission on Friday urging them not to impose net-neutrality conditions on Comcast as part of the proposed acquisition of NBC Universal.
Upton said the only thing the commission should be reviewing is whether or not the new entity would be able to unfairly influence the markets for video content creation and distribution to the detriment of consumers. He warned against using the merger as an excuse to impose net neutrality or achieve other political goals.
"I will be troubled if it appears that the Commission is using this transaction to accomplish broader, partisan objectives that it does not have the policy support to impose industry-wide, that it might not have the authority to pursue were it not presented with a license transaction, and that the parties cannot object to without risking their propose endeavor," Upton said.
Upton also exhorted the FCC not to let third parties or groups hijack the review process to push their agendas.
"This is a time when parties come out of the woodwork seeking leverage," Upton said. "Do not let opportunistic competitors or special interest groups undermine your regulatory process by using the transaction review as a vehicle to implement their industry-wide policy wish lists or unwarranted conditions."
Upton argues a failure to remain focused on the issues directly related to the acquisition could create uncertainty for future business transactions and dissuade innovation and investment.