Feds are Planning a Tough Review of the Comcast/NBC-Universal Deal

Posted Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:00 AM PDT by Mike Attebery

The Justice Department is taking a hard look at the potential issues that arise with Comcast’s purchase of NBCU.

Though the deal is expected to go through, it’s not going to happen easily. Comcast already controls a huge portion of the cable TV market, but giving it control of channels may represent an unfair advantage over competitors.

“When companies swell to include both content and distribution, we need to pay attention,” says Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockafeller. “It is vitally important that when we have mergers in these markets, consumers cannot be left with lesser programming and higher rates.”

The Justice Department is going to look at the deal from an antitrust perspective while the FCC will be looking to see whether or not the transaction is in the public interest. Public comments will soon be accepted to help guide the FFC’s decision.

The biggest concern is that Comcast will have the power to raise rates for access to NBC programming, forcing other cable and satellite providers to pay up or go without.

Source: Associated Press

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Tags: NBC, Comcast, Universal (all tags)