Done Deal

Comcast, NBC Set $30B Merger

Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S., has agreed to merge its fortunes with NBC Universal via a $30 billion deal with General Electric, owner of 80 percent of NBC Universal. Comcast is to contribute $6.5 billion in cash and $7.25 billion in cable channels, including the Golf Channel and E! to the new entity, which will be headed by NBC’s Jeff Zucker. GE will receive $8 billion in net cash, and NBC Universal will contribute the USA, CNBC, MSNBC, and Bravo channels, NBC's broadcast networks and stations, a film studio, and amusement parks. Comcast will take a 51 percent stake in the new venture. Vivendi SA, France's biggest media company, moved Comcast's bid forward when it decided to sell its 20 percent, $5.8 billion stake in NBC Universal. The deal won't become final until federal regulators approve it, a process that may take a year. Regulators could impose conditions on the sale that would make it less attractive to Comcast, such as weakening Comcast's bargaining position when dealing with TV owners to allay fears that the cable operator would gain too much power over what users see.