Comcast, opponents continue to slug it out over NBC Universal acquisition

With all the lobbying money being spent in Washington, D.C. these days, one would think a few bucks could be spared to hire the U.S. Marine Band to blare out the theme from Rocky every time Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) bid to acquire NBC Universal is mentioned.

With the FCC playing the role of referee, the opposing sides have dropped their gloves and come out swinging. Comcast, having been pummeled about the face and body by a number of accusations and demands, delivered a roundhouse hook to the face in an FCC filing that labeled opposing efforts "self-serving" and "predictable." Now those opponents have swung back, with the Coalition for Competition in Media stating that the Comcast reply is "a weak attempt to make regulators and consumers forget they still have not offered any reasoning as to why this merger is good for consumers."

Actually, this is more like professional wrestling than boxing because the American Cable Association has also jumped into the squared circle to hammer Comcast and demand that the FCC provide "robust and durable remedies to address harms that will erupt on a local, regional and national basis," in comments attributed to President-CEO Matt Polka.

The FCC could make a final decision--a knockout blow by either side being unlikely--by the end of this year, although observers are suggesting it's more likely to drift into 2011 before anything's settled.

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