"As is normal in media mergers, the F.C.C. imposed a long list of conditions on the deal. They were outlined in an F.C.C. news release on Tuesday. The conditions are intended to ensure that Comcast plays fair when dealing with rival programmers, cable providers and broadband Internet providers. Many of the conditions are intended to remain in place for seven years, an unusually long period of time." New York Times, January 18, 2011
Our politicians just cannot resist big money from big business. Instead of protecting free markets, our politicians have allowed the beginning of the consolidation of the media industry. They have done it by hiding behind "stiff" regulations that will eventually be ignored as a new layer of government bureaucracy will need to be created to "enforce" new regulations.
This is how government gets out of hand and industries stop being free markets. And oh yeah, it is also how our politicians fill their campaign coffers.