Comcast CEO defends NBC deal, unsure on Hulu

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts headed back to Capitol Hill on Thursday to defend his company’s proposed merger with NBC Universal, offering what by now are [familiar assurances that the combined company won’t use its market power to bully smaller cable competitors](, raise prices for consumers or restrict access to Internet video.

And on hand to counterpunch against the merger were some of the usual suspects, including Colleen Abdoullah, president and CEO of cable provider WOW, and Mark Cooper, the director of research at the Consumer Federation of America.

Members of the Senate Commerce Committee also heard supremely unenlightening testimony from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Christine Varney, the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. Not that they were uncooperative, but as their respective agencies are in the midst of an ongoing review of the mega-merger, Genachowski and Varney had little to share regarding the transaction at hand, offering only bland promises that the reviews would be timely and thorough, and that staffers from both agencies are working together in a spirit of brisk cooperation.

“We’ve just started to really collaborate together, largely as a result of this transaction,” Genachowski said.

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