Franken: Media Companies Are Afraid To Speak Out Against Comcast

Franken: Media Companies Are Afraid To Speak Out Against Comcast

Minnesota Senator Al Franken has made no effort to hide his opposition to the pending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Now the actor/writer-turned-lawmaker is saying he wishes others would be more open about their feelings on the controversial deal. [More]

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

While Comcast has financial ties to numerous important members of the House and Senate, there are a few folks on Capitol Hill who have no problem speaking out against the cable company’s plan to expand its domination of the pay-TV and Internet business by acquiring Time Warner Cable and its millions of customers. Sen. Al Franken has already expressed concern about the merger, but yesterday he made his position on the matter very clear. [More]

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

When Comcast finally goes before lawmakers and regulators to make its case for a merger with Time Warner Cable, it will likely promise a pile of concessions and policy changes in order to paint a rosier picture of the future. But Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is looking to the past, pointing out concerns with the cable company’s spotty track record. [More]

Al Franken Isn’t Too Keen On Google Glass Face-Recognition App

Al Franken Isn’t Too Keen On Google Glass Face-Recognition App

Some people wouldn’t have a problem with you shooting photos and video of the people you pass as you stroll down the street sporting your Google Glass headgear. But if you could use a facial recognition app on that same device to glean personal information about complete strangers, it’s probably not going to be as warmly received. [More]

Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

Watch Al Franken Shred A Pro-Arbitration Professor For Trying To Gloss Over The Problem

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on mandatory binding arbitration clauses, those fun bits of contractual language that take away your right to sue a company and force you into a resolution process that is heavily weighted in the company’s favor.  The hearing was chaired by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, who earlier this year introduced the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act, and so he obviously has a thing or two to say on the topic. [More]

Verizon’s Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies Could Mean Fewer Cable Options For Consumers

Verizon’s Deal To Buy Spectrum From Cable Companies Could Mean Fewer Cable Options For Consumers

It seems like it’s been oh, about eight months since Verizon Wireless announced its proposal to buy billions of dollars worth of wireless spectrum from cable companies who aren’t using it anyway. At first glance, it seems like a not-horrible idea, as Verizon Wireless doesn’t compete directly with the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. But with regulators nearing a decision on the deal, several high-profile folks have come forward to voice their concerns about how Verizon might be sacrificing the growth of its FiOS business in favor of its wireless network. [More]

Watch Now The Live Senate Hearing On Whether Forced Arbitration Is Fair

Watch Now The Live Senate Hearing On Whether Forced Arbitration Is Fair

Here’s a live webcast of the judiciary committee’s hearing on mandatory binding arbitration going on right now. The title of the hearing is “Arbitration: Is it Fair When Forced?” Arbitration clauses appear in all sorts of consumer contracts and they mandate that in order to use the product or service, you have to agree to give up your right to sue if anything goes wrong. Originally designed for businesses to expedite disputes with other businesses, binding arbitration clauses are now also a popular way for companies to strip consumers of their basic legal rights. Since the hearing is chaired by Senator Al Franken, you know there’s bound to be some good zingers. Pop the popcorn and sit back! [More]

Sen. Franken Demands Answers From Apple About iPhone Tracking

Sen. Franken Demands Answers From Apple About iPhone Tracking

Yesterday, it was revealed that Apple iPhones and 3G-enabled iPads have been, unbeknownst to their users, recording their locations with corresponding time stamps in a file named “consolidated.db.” This discovery did not please Al Franken, the U.S. Senator from Minnesota, who has fired off a letter to Apple bigwig Steve Jobs. [More]

Comcast/NBC Marriage Could Get FCC Blessing Today

Comcast/NBC Marriage Could Get FCC Blessing Today

The way could soon be clear for the country’s largest cable TV provider (and reigning Worst Company In America) to acquire a majority share of the country’s fourth-ranked broadcast TV network, as reports claim the FCC will be voting today to approve the joining of Comcast and NBC Universal. [More]

Al Franken Asks Justice Dept. To Investigate Comcast

Al Franken Asks Justice Dept. To Investigate Comcast

Minnesota senator Al Franken is doing what he can to throw a wrench into the merger between cable giant Comcast and NBC, the network he once called home during his years on Saturday Night Live. Yesterday, he asked the Justice Department to investigate whether or not Comcast violated anti-trust laws when it announced who would fill the top positions in the acquired company, even though the deal has yet to get DOJ approval. [More]

Al Franken Wants To Put An End To Abuse By Debt Collectors

Al Franken Wants To Put An End To Abuse By Debt Collectors

A few months after Minnesota Senator Al Franken convinced the FTC to look into the practice of debt collectors having arrest warrants issued for people with less than $100 in debt, the former SNL star announced that he will be introducing legislation to put an end to some of the collection industry’s more abusive practices. [More]

FTC To Take A Closer Look At Debtors Being Thrown In Jail

FTC To Take A Closer Look At Debtors Being Thrown In Jail

It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors prisons have been abolished — but that doesn’t mean that people are not being routinely arrested and put in jail for failing to pay debts. A few weeks ago the Minneapolis Star-Tribune published an investigative piece about arrest warrants being issued for people with less than $100 in debt, many of whom didn’t even know that a collector had taken legal action against them. Now, following a letter by Sen. Al Franken (noted hater of the Comcast, NBC merger), the FTC has agreed to look into the issue. [More]

Al Franken Makes Comcast's CEO Look Like A Tool

Al Franken Makes Comcast's CEO Look Like A Tool

Love him or hate him, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), former employee of NBC, made Comcast’s befuddled CEO Brian “Comcatastrophe” Roberts look like a complete tool during yesterday’s hearing on the proposed Comcast/NBC mergepocalypse. [More]

Al Franken: How Many Medical Bankruptcies Are There In Switzerland?

Al Franken: How Many Medical Bankruptcies Are There In Switzerland?

We stray into politics often at our peril but I had to share this clip of Sen. Franken kneecapping a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute conservative think tank. In what was supposed to be a hearing on the Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act, Diana Furchtgott-Roth instead used her testimony to pillory against health care reform proposals not even being discussed. After Sen. Whitehouse asks her if she even read the bill at hand, Sen. Franken goes: “You said the way we’re going will increase bankruptcies…How many bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?”

Senate Protects Employee Rights With Forced Arbitration Ban

Senate Protects Employee Rights With Forced Arbitration Ban

Yesterday, the Senate adopted an amendment that will prevent federal funding from going to any contractor that requires its employees to use mandatory binding arbitration, instead of court, for sexual assault and civil rights claims against the company.