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Comcast, GE Extend NBC Universal Agreement to March 3

Comcast Corp., bidding to gain control of NBC Universal Inc., extended its agreement for the transaction with NBC parent General Electric Co. by 90 days as the companies await regulatory approval.

The “master agreement” was extended to March 3 from Dec. 3, Comcast said in a regulatory filing today. The original deal, struck a year ago, included the option of two 90-day extensions.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable-television company, 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. Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is “still focused on working with the agencies to receive regulatory approval by year end,” Sena Fitzmaurice, a Comcast spokeswoman, said in an e-mail today.

Comcast fell 1 cent to $20.71 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have risen 23 percent this year. GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, rose 10 cents to $16.78 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

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