The Justice Department is fully prepared to ensure that consumers are not adversely affected by media mergers and cable bundling practices and that they can cut the pay-TV cord and still maintain access to TV programming, William Baer, assistant attorney general for the department's antitrust unit, said during a Senate oversight hearing. Baer, during questioning from Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., promised to monitor the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger and Verizon's spectrum deal with major cablers, as well as to watch market conditions so consumers can choose free online video options over pay-TV services.

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