House Democrats Challenge Comcast, NBC on Deal

House Democrats are challenging executives from Comcast and NBC Universal to show that the cable TV operator's plan to take control of the NBC media empire won't hurt consumers and competitors.

Members of a House subcommittee on communications and technology sounded skeptical about the deal at the first of two congressional hearings Thursday. They worry that the transaction could lead to higher cable rates, fewer video programming choices and other competitive harms.

Comcast is seeking government approval to acquire a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric , parent company of CNBC. The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission are currently reviewing the transaction.

Comcast says the deal doesn't raise significant antitrust concerns because the companies operate in separate and highly competitive markets.