FCC approves Comcast – NBC merger January 18, 2011
Today, the FCC announced their approval [CNET article] of the Comcast/NBC merger, after a 4 to 1 vote in favor of the merger. According to the announcement [via FCC.gov], the FCC only approved the merger after NBC/Comcast agreed to a number of restrictions, which will be enforced for a period of seven years following the merger.
The FCC’s 3-page announcement provides an overview of the conditions in bullet point form. Here’s a few interesting points (that I noted after a quick skim) which pertain to “Protecting the Development of Online Competition”:
- that Comcast/NBC provide “any affiliated content that Comcast makes available online” to its own subscribers at “fair market value and non-discriminatory prices and conditions” to customers of other online video service.
- that Comcast/NBC offers a broadband service at “reasonable prices and of sufficient bandwidth” so that customers do not need a cable television subscription through Comcast/NBC to view online videos and the like.
- that Comcast/NBC does not enter into agreements that unreasonably restrict online distribution of video programming
- that Comcast/NBC does not “disadvantage rival online video distribution through its broadband Internet access services and/or set-top boxes”
- that Comcast/NBC does not “unreasonably withhold programming from Hulu”
Read the announcement for the rest.
There is a lot of information to digest related to this deal and it’s still early in the process. So, I would expect to hear a lot more about it in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out Commissioner Michael J. Copps dissenting statement on the vote. Copps was the only commissioner to vote against the combination.
Comcast’s Blog Post on the FCC announcement.