Washington – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on
Tuesday voted 4-1 to grant conditional approval to the proposed $6.5 billion
deal between Comcast (NASD: CMCSA) and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE). The FCC said Comcast-NBCU agreed to
conditions addressing potential harm caused by the combination, which will last
for a period of seven years. They include ensuring reasonable access to its
programming for multichannel distribution and to competing online video
services, and offering standalone broadband service to non-cable TV subscribers.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Dept. of Justice also announced a settlement with Comcast
and NBC Universal, that provides conditional approval of their proposed
The Justice Dept.’s Antitrust Division and five state attorneys
general filed a civil antitrust suit today to block the joint venture, which the
settlement will address.
Under the terms, the companies agreed "to license
programming to online competitors to Comcast’s cable TV services, subject
themselves to anti-retaliation provisions and adhere to Open Internet
(PDF: FCC statement)