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Tuesday
Jan182011

FCC Approves Comcast Acquisition of NBC Universal 

Photo Courtesy - NBC (WASHINGTON) -- The FCC has approved a deal to allow Comcast Corp., one of the country's largest cable TV providers, to acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Company.

The joint venture, approved by the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday on a vote of four to one, will transfer control of broadcast, satellite, and other radio licenses to Comcast. The Commission said in a statement that granting the request was "in the public interest, despite concerns that the deal would be an unfair advantage over competitors and leave consumers paying higher prices."

To assuage such concerns, the FCC has said those involved must fulfill certain conditions and commitments.

"As part of the merger, Comcast-NBCU will be required to take affirmative steps to foster competition in the video marketplace," the FCC said. They will also be required to provide discounted broadband services to low-income Americans, provide more space for independently-owned channels, air more children's programming, keep NBC programming on free TV channels, and guarantee NBC news operations' independence.

The sole dissenter Tuesday, Commissioner Michael Copps, said the vote will have a drastic effect on news coverage. "Make no mistake: what is at stake here is the infrastructure for our national conversation—the very lifeblood of American democracy," Copps said. "We should be moving in precisely the opposite direction of what this Commission approves today.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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