Comcast, NBC Universal and General Electric filed a merger application/public interest statement with the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday -- following a filing earlier in the week
with the Justice Department. According to Broadcasting & Cable, the filings mark the beginning of "what will likely be an almost year-long review."
The FCC's review is expected to go beyond competition to look at the public interest impact of the deal with regard to: localism, diversity, competition and innovation. Of note, the FCC filing insists that the companies' merged Internet properties "poses no threat to online competition." Specifically, Comcast says its 32% interest in Hulu is non-controlling and non-management, and that Hulu has less than a 10% share of online viewing -- a tenth that of YouTube, adding that the share is "still small" if the field is narrowed to "professional content."