Report: Federal Agencies Speed Up Reviews of Comcast-NBC Uni Merger

9:08 PM PST 11/14/2010 by THR staff

The Justice Department and the FCC are hoping to conclude their reviews by year's end.

Federal regulators have sped up their reviews of the Comcast Corp./NBC Universal merger in the hope of concluding them by year's end, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Neither the Justice Department nor the FCC is expected to block the deal -- which will see Comcast taking a 51% stake in NBC Uni from General Electric -- outright because the two companies aren't direct competitors, meaning it would be harder to make antitrust arguments.

But the WSJ, citing sources, said both agencies are likely to impose significant conditions that would prevent Comcast from withholding, or even threatening to withhold, NBC Uni programming from competitors.

The FCC is hoping to propose its conditions on the deal by mid-December, while the Justice Department could announce its decision within weeks, the WSJ reported.

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