WASHINGTON: The FCC is seeking public comment on the deal between General Electric and Comcast, giving the cable operator a majority share of NBC Universal. The transaction would put the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, 26 TV stations, several national cable networks, a movie studio, theme parks and online business into the hands of the nation’s largest cable operator, Comcast. The Philadelphia cabler already owns its own set of cable nets, online assets and wireless ventures.
The assets would ultimately be spun into a joint venture under Comcast’s control. Both the cable operator and NBCU have made various and sundry public-interest pledges, and executives have testified before lawmakers they’ll not abuse their programming power by withholding networks from competing carriers. (See “Lawmakers Grill Comcast-NBCU Merger Witnesses.”)
The docket number is MB No. 10-56. Comments are due May 3; responses to them are due June 2; replies and opposition comments are due June 17.
The commission’s request for comments didn’t ask for specific data, but rather that “all substantive issues regarding the application” should be raised in initial filings. “New issues may not be raised in responses or replies. A party or interested person seeking to raise a new issue after the pleading cycle has closed must show good cause why it was not possible for it to have raised the issue previously.” -- Deborah D. McAdams
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