Comcast NBC merger gets federal approval

Photo of a Comcast/NBC logo.

Comcast and NBC will officially be merging. CC by 惟①刻¾/Flickr

In a move approved by the FCC, Comcast and NBC will likely be merging. This merger is being lauded by industry advocates. The Comcast/NBC merger is not all good, however. Consumer advocates are saying it may be a disaster.

The Comcast NBC merger information

Comcast made an announcement recently. About 51 percent of NBC will be taken over. Currently, NBC Universal is controlled by General Electric. Comcast is going to buy that stake for about $30 billion. There are a lot of people with a personal interest in Comcast right now. They include 23 million cable subscribers and 17 million internet subscribers. NBC Universal owns NBC, CNBC, Bravo, Oxygen, Universal Studios and 30 percent of Hulu. The Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department anti-trust unit have given approval for the purchase.

The good part of the Comcast/NBC merger

Conditions apply to the FCC approval of the Comcast/NBC merger. Comcast has promised to add 1,000 hours of informational and news programming. Low-income households can get internet through the company for only cost $9.95 a month. Specific regulations have also been put in place to help prevent the Comcast-controlled NBC from using its control to kill competitors in both internet and television programming arenas.

NBC Comcast merger cons

Though Comcast has promised to take action to prevent unfair competition, many consumer advocates are concerned about the merger. One statement by the FCC Commissioner who voted against the deal said, “concentration of media under Comcast’s control would put too much power into one company that controls the access consumers have.” There is also concern that the company will be able to put walls around content. There are more chances for abuse with vertical integration even though costs may be reduced. There isn’t any net neutrality regulation in place yet. That means the merger might be harder for the FCC to control than it believes.

Information from

NPR

Washington Post

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