FCC piles online restrictions onto Comcast-NBCU

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) must really, really want NBC Universal. The nation's top MSO has been wrangling and conceding for over a year and even now, as it wends its way to final approval from the FCC, faces even more stringent conditions.

According to reports, the FCC is studying conditions that would require Comcast to provide TV programs to online competitors, refrain from interfering with subscribers' Web traffic and be bound by open Internet conditions for seven years no matter what happens with the FCC's own net neutrality rules.

While ever-busy Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice declined to comment on the reports, Comcast EVP David Cohen blogged that the deal is entering "the final days of this government review process." He must know something more than what's been publicly announced (and who doesn't?) because the FCC hasn't yet set a date to vote on the conditions that Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed late last year.

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