Comcast will have to wait 'til next year to get NBCU

Even as divisive and fragmented as they are, the nation's politicos are dependable when it comes to the fact that they don't do much, if anything, over holidays. Thus it's not earth-shattering news that Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) burning desire to acquire NBC Universal will have to continue into 2011.

That's the word from no less expert than Jeff Zucker, deposed (when the deal finally goes through) chief executive of NBC Universal who sent out a memo to staff (who may or may not be around after the deal goes through) delivering the news.

"We have made substantial progress this month with both the FCC and the Department of Justice and expect that we will get a 'green light' in January," Zucker's memo said, adding "until then, of course, business continues as normal."

The feds and Comcast have been hard at work hammering out details and concessions as raucous opposition continued to roil around the merger. While Zucker-and others within the Comcast family-remain optimistic that the deal will close in January, an FCC spokeswoman declined to comment.

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Analysts: Comcast-NBCU approval will come late, with lots of attached strings
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