Comcast Says Merger With NBC Won't Close This Year Amid Regulatory Review

Comcast Corp.’s purchase of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal unit won’t be completed this year, a Comcast official said.

The deal is “on track” to close in January, Sena Fitzmaurice, a vice president, said in an e-mailed message.

The deal proposed last year needs approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, would gain control of the NBC television network, broadcast stations and cable channels such as MSNBC and USA Network.

“It now appears that we will not be able to close the transaction with GE relating to NBC Universal by year-end,” Fitzmaurice said. “We have notified our transition teams that there will not be a December 31 closing. We believe the regulatory review puts us on track for a closing in January.”

GE in a statement said it also expects the transaction to close in January.

The FCC may require Comcast to share programming with online video companies, and submit to limits on withholding cable channels from pay-TV competitors such as DirecTV and AT&T Inc., Paul Gallant, a Washington-based analyst with MF Global, said in a Dec. 20 note to investors.

Comcast is acquiring a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from GE by paying $6.5 billion in cash and contributing cable channels worth $7.25 billion to a joint venture that will own the entertainment company.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Comcast is acquiring a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from GE by paying $6.5 billion in cash and contributing cable channels worth $7.25 billion to a joint venture that will own the entertainment company. Close

Comcast is acquiring a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from GE by paying $6.5 billion... Read More

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Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Comcast is acquiring a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from GE by paying $6.5 billion in cash and contributing cable channels worth $7.25 billion to a joint venture that will own the entertainment company.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has filed documents opposing the Comcast-NBC Universal combination as it was proposed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allan Holmes at aholmes25@bloomberg.net.

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