Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

FCC approves merger of Comcast and NBC

Illustration for article titled FCC approves merger of Comcast and NBC

The FCC has given the go-ahead to Comcast’s impending integration of NBC Universal, setting up the deal for likely finalization (after a Justice Department review) by the end of the month, and giving its blessing to Comcast creating a “media powerhouse” that marks the first time a major broadcast network will fall under the control of a single cable company. Naturally there have been dissenting voices, with the FCC’s senior Democratic commissioner Michael Copps saying in a statement that the merger “confers too much power in one company’s hands,” and that it “opens the door to the cable-ization of the open Internet. The potential for walled gardens, toll booths, content prioritization, access fees to reach end users, and a stake in the heart of independent content production is now very real.” Nah, we’re sure it’ll be fine! And besides, the FCC’s approval comes with a set of conditions ensuring that Comcast does not restrict access to its newly acquired content—which also includes a stake in Hulu—when it comes to other cable providers, and those provisions will stay in place for seven whole years.

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UPDATE: The Justice Department has already said it will not block the deal. Justice is swift.

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