FCC approves Comcast-NBC merger

Final approval from Justice Department expected today. Media giant must make programs available to competitors

Published January 18, 2011 7:15PM (EST)

A sign outside the Comcast Center in Philadelphia.             (AP/Matt Rourke)
A sign outside the Comcast Center in Philadelphia. (AP/Matt Rourke)

The Federal Communications Commission is giving Comcast, the country's largest cable company, the green light to take over NBC Universal, home of the NBC television network.

The deal is still awaiting Justice Department approval, which is expected later Tuesday.

With the deal certain to transform the entertainment industry landscape, regulators are attaching conditions to prevent Comcast Corp. from trampling competitors once it takes control of NBC's vast media empire.

Among other things, the government is requiring Comcast to make NBC programming available to rival cable companies, satellite operators and new Internet video services that could pose a threat to Comcast's core cable business.

The FCC voted 4-to-1 Tuesday to let Comcast buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. for $13.8 billion in cash and assets.

By Joelle Tessler

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