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OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC requires Comcast to place Bloomberg alongside other news channels

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Bloomberg had filed a complaint with the FCC charging that Comcast was violating its merger conditions by manipulating its channel lineups in a way that marginalized Bloomberg News compared with other channels offering similar programming, in particular NBC-owned business/news channel CNBC.

“We are pleased the FCC had the foresight to include the news neighborhooding condition in the Comcast/NBCU merger order and the willingness to enforce it," Greg Babyak, Bloomberg's head of government affairs, said in a statement.

But Comcast said it plans to appeal the Media Bureau's ruling to the full commission.

"We respectfully disagree with the Media Bureau's interpretation of the 'neighborhooding' condition, which so clearly rewrites the history and any permissible underlying rationale for the condition," Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice said.

Fitzmaurice argued that because, by definition, no discrimination could have occurred against Bloomberg prior to the merger, the "retroactive condition" was "arbitrary and capricious." 

"There is simply no support in any record for a four-channel definition of a 'neighborhood,'" she said.

Gigi Sohn, president of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, commended the FCC for its decision. 

“If policymakers are to insist on conditions for large mergers and other transactions, it is essential that those conditions are enforced with all deliberate speed," Sohn said in a statement.

FCC nominee related to rocker: Some Hillicon Valley readers who happen to be ardent fans of both telecom policy and acoustic rock favorites Guster may have asked themselves over the past several months, is Democratic FCC nominee Jessica Rosenworcel related to Guster drummer Brian "thundergod" Rosenworcel?

The answer, with thanks to Senate Commerce spokeswoman Jena Longo, is ... YES! Guster drummer Brian Rosenworcel is Jessica Rosenworcel's brother. 

There is no word yet on whether her confirmation, which could come as early as May 7, will mean changes to the music played before webcasts of FCC open meetings.

And from the "slightly appropriate song title" department, here's a video of Guster playing "Jesus on the Radio" (not to be construed as an endorsement by the Christian Broadcasters Association). Brian Rosenworcel is third from the left.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

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The Senate Commerce Committee will examine the administration's online privacy plans at a hearing next week.

A German judge granted Motorola Mobility an injunction against Microsoft.

A group of senators urged Village Voice to drop its online sex ads.