Comcast finally lands NBC Universal

Cable TV giant Comcast has reeled in its big broadcast fish, forging an agreement with General Electric to acquire NBC Universal in a $30 billion deal. As previously reported, the acquisition will lead to the creation of a joint venture combining Comcast's own $7.25 billion stable of existing programming assets (such as the Golf Channel and "E," among others) with those of NBC-U. Comcast will get 51 percent of that firm with G.E. owning the other 49 percent.

Comcast is making the defining move in an effort to dominate content that increasingly will be distributed over multiple platforms, including TV, PCs and mobile devices. How will telcos and other cable TV players respond? Comcast has been building towards this moment since it failed to win control of Walt Disney Co. several years ago in a hostile takeover attempt. Telcos, meanwhile, have barely gotten their feet wet in the world of content development, and may need to accelerate their efforts.

Still, the Comcast-NBC deal is likely to face heavy regulatory scrutiny, and many of the usual suspects--Public Knowledge, FreePress, the Media Access Project, and more--already have issued statements of concern over the merger.

For more:
- The New York Times has this story

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