After an information-gathering hiatus, the Federal Communications Commission has restarted its review of Comcast’s proposal to acquire NBC Universal.
While the deal continues to meet with significant opposition from rivals seeking a variety of concessions, Comcast won an encouraging regulatory approval from the European Union.
The European Commission’s statement said, “After examining the operation, the commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area.”
One FCC commissioner, Michael Copps, is clearly on the side of those that want formal concessions from Comcast written into the acceptance of the deal. Comcast has guaranteed it will operate in good faith should the deal go through, but rivals and public interest groups have not been won over by the company’s assurances.
Colleen Abdoulah, president and CEO of WOW!, in a recent FCC forum held on the subject, said, “We have the experience and history to say that the FCC must impose robust, complete and long-lasting conditions on this deal, or else it will result in material harm to consumers and competition.”
Abdoulah is a member of the American Cable Association’s board. The ACA has been vigorously advocating for specific concessions that will prevent a merged Comcast/NBC Universal from abusing its market power.
The FCC says it’s now 45 days into the 180-day review of the proposed merger.