Franken blasts Comcast in letter to DoJ and FCC

When contacted for comment, a Comcast spokesperson said the Level 3 issue has nothing to do with net neutrality and pointed to the company's earlier letter to the FCC. They also said the issue is completely separate from the merger, which was announced more than a year ago and is expected to gain approval early next year.

"If Comcast can pick and choose which of its competitors can deliver competing content and services to its subscribers — and at what price — consumers will suffer and independent content will decline," Franken said. "I can think of no more compelling instance in recent memory that justifies the urgent need for the Commission to strengthen, expand and enforce the open Internet principles it has forcefully set out to date."

Franken also said Comcast's alleged actions merit an antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice, arguing the cable giant is using its position as the country's largest broadband provider to stifle competition from Netflix. He urged both Justice and the FCC to seriously consider blocking the merger "both to protect competition on the Internet and in the media."