FCC Looks Favorably On NBC/Comcast Merger
A top Comcast executive wrote Thursday that it is "gratified" by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's recommended proposal to clear its joint venture with NBC Universal. A full vote of all five FCC commissioners should come in January.
The Genachowski plan for how the new company would operate is said to have some conditions. Those would be in areas such as online video, and negotiations with cable/satellite/telco TV operators for NBCU programming.
But Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen wrote in a blog post that even with those provisos, Comcast will be able to operate in an "appropriate way," signaling its endorsement.
The other four FCC commissioners will review Genachowski's proposal and could still offer further limitations for the merged company. Cohen wrote that Comcast will work with them to protect its interests and the public's. Conditions will "not undermine our business combination and will ensure that consumers will benefit and that competitors are treated fairly."
The Department of Justice is also reviewing the proposed merger. While many interest groups and others support the merger, some vehemently oppose the union, charging that Comcast will gain unjust advantages over competitors.
The FCC commission includes three Democrats, including the chairman and two Republicans. A new Comcast would control pay-TV and broadband service in millions of homes, the NBC network and a slew of leading cable channels.