Last July, a group called the Coalition for Competition in Media wrote a letter to two key House subcommittee chairs on Capitol Hill, pleading for help in stopping the then-pending $30 billion megamerger of Comcast and NBC Universal. The group identified itself as "a coalition of public interest organizations, unions, small and minority media companies and independent programmers," and said the merger was "fundamentally threatening to the public interest." That may well have been a sound contention, and any reader might have thought the letter--part of an extensive PR and lobbying campaign--was distributed by a grassroots consumer organization. The letter was signed by the members of the coalition, including the media conglomerate Bloomberg LP. What the letter did not say is that Bloomberg LP was the driving force behind the PR campaign, and the Coalition for Competition in Media was conceived, funded and staffed by lobbyists for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $7 billion-per-year media company.
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