Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) said the Federal Communications Commission's decision to extend the comment period for the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger would allow a full opportunity to hear from all sides.

Cárdenas argued that the potentially enormous company has discouraged some media, as well as cable and broadband companies that would be affected, to speak out against the merger due to fear of later retribution.


“Part of the challenge we face is that many of those concerned with the merger will potentially have to sit across the negotiating table with a new Comcast-Time Warner Cable. Because this new entity will have such broad control over media production, distribution, cable and broadband, there is a natural chilling effect for many of those voices," Cárdenas said.

The California Democrat warned that the merger had potential to limit media diversity.

"I personally have concerns with how smaller, independently-owned companies will be affected by the merger, particularly minority-owned networks already struggling in the current media environment. These companies are critical for providing diverse voices in our media, granting opportunities for those seeking to break into the entertainment industry and preserving the culture of diverse communities," Cárdenas said.

But Cárdenas said that allowing more time for shareholders to comment would help ensure that all have a chance to weigh in.

"By extending the comment period, the FCC clearly realizes that there are still voices that have legitimate concerns with the merger who still need to be heard," Cárdenas said.

The comment period for the Comcast-Time Warner merger will now last until Oct. 29.