Comcast-NBCU: Coalition asks AGs for help as Congressional group urges approval

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) Chairman-CEO Brian Roberts said last week said he is optimistic that his company's $31 billion (or so) acquisition of NBC Universal will clear all regulatory hurdles by the end of the year and the companies will join as one. A more pessimistic view, though, based on the ongoing debate around the subject puts the timetable somewhat closer to 2020. For what it's worth (the caveat being this is the government) the FCC has said it would like to have the whole thing wrapped up by November.

The Coalition for Competition, a 21-member group that includes Bloomberg, the National Organization of Women and the Writers Guild of America, has initiated the latest attempt to derail the merger by appealing to the National Association of Attorneys General and particularly AGs from California, New York, Oregon, Florida and Washington to more closely review the deal because it "would cause a media monopoly that results in higher prices for consumers and more limited access to programming."

All is not gloom, though. A group of African American and Hispanic members of Congress have supported the deal with letters to FCC Chair Julius Genachowski, urging its approval by the end of this year so the new entity can begin "delivering on their promises without delay."

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