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Critics Warn as DoJ, FCC Clear Comcast-NBC Merger

Jan 20, 2011, 15:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kenneth Corbin)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"After more than a year spent selling a blockbuster media merger to financial analysts, a skeptical public interest sector and government regulators, Comcast has won approval from the federal government to complete its $30 billion takeover of NBC Universal.

"On Tuesday, the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, which had been working closely together on their separate reviews of the transaction, each announced approval of the deal, accompanied by several conditions intended to preserve fair access to NBC's content, both online and off.

"The conditions include voluntary commitments the companies had made to secure approval of the merger, such as a pledge to preserve local and public-interest programming on the NBC affiliates that Comcast will acquire.

"Additionally, Comcast, both the nation's largest residential Internet service provider and cable distributor, has agreed to provide discounted broadband service to low-income residents, and the FCC and DoJ both included a condition barring discrimination of rivals' online video content on Comcast's broadband network, in keeping with the FCC's recently adopted net neutrality rules."

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