Judge's approval of Comcast-NBCU hits snag

Six months after the Comcast-NBCUniversal (Nasdaq: CMCSA) merger agreement appeared to have gained all the necessary approval, the federal judge charged with reviewing the merger conditions said he is concerned that the arbitration process for online video distribution spelled out in the final agreement is not fair to the online companies.

The agreement allows for an arbitration process if online distributors dispute Comcast's pricing terms, but the process may nopt go far enough, the judge said.

Federal Judge Richard Leon actually has the power to stall the deal and force Comcast and NBCU to rewrite their terms. It is not yet clear that will happen, but this is certainly an unforeseen development during a part of the merger approval process that is usually taken for granted.

For more:
- read this Hollywood Reporter story

Related articles:
The merger terms offer Comcast loopholes in its dealings with distribution partners
The FCC approved the Comcast-NBC Universal merger in late January

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