Officials at the Justice Department and the FCC may take action against NBCUniversal owner Comcast over allegations that the company violated agreements going back to 2011 that made it possible for the cabler to acquire NBCUniversal, Claire Atkinson reports in the New York Post.
“The allegations were made during the public comment period of the review of Comcast’s now defunct plan to acquire Time Warner Cable,” Atkinson writes, citing Washington insiders.
Among the alleged complaints being examined, the story reports, is one that “Comcast tied linear programming negotiations with digital deals — forcing programmers to sell to Comcast digital rights to their content on the same or better terms than they sold it to other online video distributors — when they promised not to,” Atkinson reports.
Another possible problem is that “NBCUniversal’s just-announced deal to use Comcast set-top box data to help it win advertising creates an uneven playing field,” Atkinson notes.
Additionally, Comcast, which has been fined in the past for violation of one of the 2011 agreements, may have interfered with the running of Hulu after agreeing not to do so. Comcast co-owns Hulu with Disney and 21st Century Fox, and has reportedly suggested that the other co-owners not sell the streaming service.