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FCC Approves NBC-Comcast Deal

Move over, Jack Donaghy: There will soon be a new boss at 30 Rock. Federal regulators have approved a joint venture between cable giant Comcast and NBC Universal. The deal gives Comcast, one of the nation’s largest cable and Internet providers, its own store of programming, while giving struggling NBC Universal a new home. The Federal Communications Commission approved the deal by a 4-to-1 vote, overriding the objections of one member who worries the venture will centralize too much power in a single company. Under the agreement, Comcast will control 51 percent of NBCU with current owner GE keeping the remaining stake. NBCU controls a vast empire of networks—including MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, and Telemundo—as well as Universal Pictures and a chain of theme parks. In approving the deal, the FCC and the Justice Department have set a variety of conditions intended to protect net neutrality and guarantee fair access to other networks.

January 18, 2011 9:21 AM