General Instrument probed

NEW YORK — The Justice Dept.’s antitrust division is investigating whether General Instrument Corp., a leading supplier of equipment to the cable television industry, may have a stranglehold on the delivery of advanced video services, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Although the inquiry began about six months ago, neither the Justice Dept. nor General Instrument disclosed it.

The inquiry was first reported in a television trade publication.

The Justice Dept. has apparently demanded a wide range of information from General Instrument, both about the company’s past relationships in the cable industry and about new technologies that can be used to deliver interactive television and hundreds of channels of programming, according to the Times.

A General Instrument spokesman declined to comment, but Justice Dept. spokeswoman Gina Talamona said, “The antitrust division is investigating the arrangements and practices that affect the cable television industry, but I can’t confirm whom we are looking at,” the newspaper said.

General Instrument is the largest supplier of television set-top converters for the cable TV industry.

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