Comcast-NBCU Deal Stalls as Regulators Sort Out Details

Dec 22, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Approval of the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal is taking longer to work its way through the federal regulatory process than the companies had hoped, and now the word is the deal will be delayed at least until next month, Reuters reports.

NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker reportedly sent around a staff memo Wednesday in which he said: "We have made substantial progress this month with both the FCC and the Department of Justice, and expect that we will get a ‘green light’ in January."

Zucker is expected to depart the company after the deal goes through.

Comcast initially hoped to complete the acquisition this year, the story says. But the company–the largest cable firm in the U.S.–confirmed the delay.

"Because of the lead time required to prepare for a close, it now appears that we will not be able to close the transaction with GE relating to NBC Universal by year-end," a Comcast spokeswoman said in a statement. "We have notified our transition teams that there will not be a Dec. 31 closing."

The story cites sources saying that the areas that are causing regulators to take a closer look at the deal include online video, program access and program carriage.

Among other issues, regulators reportedly have concerns about whether Comcast might wield too much influence over the increasingly important online video market through Hulu, which is a joint venture involving NBCU, News Corp. and Disney.

16 Comments

  1. I hope it never closes. I hate Comcast. All they have ever done is screw me left and right. Crappy service, poor picture, overcharging, out and out lying, and refusal to upgrade equipment that was old and corroded. Comcast is a horrible company, and I pity the folks at NBC/Universal if this deal goes through.
    Regulators, don’t you care about the people who elected you?

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  9. As an independent t.v. show producer, who just happens to be African American, I am both excited and afraid of this Comcast-NBCU Deal. First, I’m excited about the possibility for people of color to actually be granted the opportunity to create, develope, manage, and grow new t.v. shows. My understanding is, if and only if, Comcast resolves issues relating to the developement of new Cable channels, Ten in all, with stipulations for inclusion of different voices on the airwaves. Now I’m afraid, … afraid that if these stipulations are not written into the condictions of this acquisition, … things may in fact get worst for independent producers like myself. It is my voice, and the silent voices of all small production groups…, creating impressive views of our World through the Old World Media of t.v., asking the question of the FCC and the DOJ, should we be afraid???

  10. As an independent t.v. show producer, who just happens to be African American, I am both excited and afraid of this Comcast-NBCU Deal. First, I’m excited about the possibility for people of color to actually be granted the opportunity to create, develope, manage, and grow new t.v. shows. My understanding is, if and only if, Comcast resolves issues relating to the developement of new Cable channels, Ten in all, with stipulations for inclusion of different voices on the airwaves. Now I’m afraid, … afraid that if these stipulations are not written into the condictions of this acquisition, … things may in fact get worst for independent producers like myself. It is my voice, and the silent voices of all small production groups…, creating impressive views of our World through the Old World Media of t.v., asking the question of the FCC and the DOJ, should we be afraid???

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