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Entries in Comcast (5)

Wednesday
Feb132013

Comcast Buying Remaining Stake of NBCUniversal from GE

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Comcast is buying the remainder of NBCUniversal from General Electric, the cable TV provider announced on Tuesday.

The price tag for GE's 49 percent stake in the entertainment giant is approximately $16.7 billion.

Two years ago, Comcast bough 51 percent of NBCUniversal.  The latest acquisition consolidates Comcast as a cable distributor and a content provider.

"This is an exciting day for Comcast as we have agreed to accelerate the purchase of NBCUniversal," Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said in a statement.

"Our decision to acquire GE's ownership is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects of NBCUniversal and our desire to capture future value that we hope to create for our shareholders," he added.

The deal is still subject to "customary closing conditions," Comcast says, but it is expected to be finalized by the end of this year's first quarter.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec142012

D.C. Man Sues Comcast Over Error That He Claims Cost Him $26,000

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In June 2010, Marc Himmelstein called Comcast of the District LLC to cancel his cable and high-speed Internet services in his Northwest Washington, D.C., home, Courthouse News reported.

Comcast told Himmelstein he was due a refund of $123.19.  The company’s equipment was removed from Himmelstein’s home, but a modem was accidentally left behind, and Himmelstein was charged $220, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Sept. 6, 2012.

Himmelstein, the CEO of National Environmental Strategies, a D.C. lobbying firm, had no idea that he still had the modem, or that he owed Comcast a dime. He learned about his “debt” in August 2010 when he called Comcast to ask about the $123.19 refund.

He was told that as soon as he returned the missing modem, the charge would be removed. That is exactly what Himmelstein did, and he contacted Comcast “on at least three occasions,” according to the court filing, to make sure it had received the modem.  While Himmelstein didn’t receive a written notice, he was informed Comcast had fixed the error, and that his refund was en-route, the filing states.

Except it wasn’t. Not only did Himmelstein never receive the $123.19 refund, he had no idea that the $220 charge had been forwarded to Credit Protection Association, and that in December 2010, CPA had reported the late charge to three national credit-reporting agencies.

Himmelstein is not the only unhappy Comcast customer who has experienced difficulties with the cable service. There is an “I Hate Comcast” Facebook page, along with an anti-Comcast blog set up in 2009, targeting Comcast.

Himmelstein said he learned about the credit reporting filing in the spring of 2011, when he tried to refinance his mortgage with Citibank, and his credit report showed that his account was in arrears thanks to the Comcast charge. According to the claim, “because of this outstanding debt, Citibank required Himmelstein to pay an additional $26,000 (one percent of the value of the mortgage) for the same loan.” He paid it.

Himmelstein and his lawyer, Matt Finkelstein, of Bethesda, Md., filed a breach of contract claim and negligence against Comcast in D.C. federal court. They have also sued the Credit Protection Association for negligence and violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Himmelstein is seeking to recoup the $26,000 that Citibank required him to pay to refinance his mortgage, attorney fees and the $123.19 credit he was owed when he first closed his account, which he has still not received.

On Oct. 22, Comcast filed a motion to dismiss all charges.  Last week, District Judge James Boasberg partially dismissed claims for constructive fraud and a “bad faith” breach of contract.

“The accounting mistakes made by Comcast in handling Himmelstein’s account -- while unquestionably frustrating -- do not raise an inference of bad faith sufficient to state a claim for breach of covenant,” Boasberg wrote.

But Boasberg refused to dismiss the negligence claim against Comcast because, he wrote, unresolved questions remain about the company’s duty to Himmelstein.

Both Comcast and Himmelstein declined to comment to ABC News.  CPA did not return phone calls from ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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

Tuesday
Jan182011

Comcast Close to Acquiring Control of NBC Universal from GE

Photo Courtesy - NBC Universal(WASHINGTON) -- Comcast Corp., one of the country's largest cable TV providers, could acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co. as early as Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The deal is pending approval from Federal Communications Commission officials, who are expected to vote four to one in its favor, people close to the review told the newspaper.  The Justice Department has already finished reviewing the proposal and is ready to approve the deal with some conditions once the FCC gives it the green light.

The Journal reports that, as part of the deal, Comcast will 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.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov302010

Level 3: Comcast Put “Tollbooth” on Streaming Video

Photo Courtesy - Netflix, Inc.(PHILADELPHIA) -- Just as Netflix announced it would make streaming videos cheaper for customers, Internet provider Comcast has announced it will charge more to stream such content to its customers.

After Netflix announced they would use the service of Level 3 to help stream movies, Comcast countered by announcing they would charge Level 3 a fee to send that video to Comcast Internet users.

Level 3 has called the move an Internet “tollbooth” that is counter to the spirit of an open Internet.

“Comcast is putting up a tollbooth at the borders of its broadband Internet-access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content which competes with its own cable TV and Xfinity-delivered content,” Level 3 chief legal officer Thomas Stortz said. 

Comcast – which has a bid to own NBC – denied the claim, saying the fee followed a move by Level 3 that would nearly double traffic sent through Comcast.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio