Comcast, NBC Universal Urge FCC to Approve Merger Without Web Access Guarantees

"In the nascent, rapidly-evolving online video market where there is no established business model," they say in a filing.

NEW YORK - Comcast and NBC Universal executives met with senior officials at the FCC this week to urge them against conditions on their proposed merger that would require the combined company to make TV shows and movies available to Internet video distributors, according to the Washington Post.

Wall Street analysts earlier this week told The Hollywood Reporter that such a possible application of program access rules to the Web is likely one of the focus areas for the FCC as a final regulatory decision on the merger nears.

“The program access rules were designed to regulate traditional linear delivery of video programming, a market with an established business model,” Comcast and NBC argued in a filing, according to the Washington Post. “In the nascent, rapidly-evolving online video market where there is no established business model, it would be difficult as a practical matter to compare distributors for purposes of determining whether a programmer had unreasonably discriminated against a distributor.”

The companies said the FCC needs to more clearly define what an online video distributor is if it wants to establish program access rules for the Web.

 

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