Disney, TW, Viacom Respond to Comcast-NBCU Merger

Company brass have met with the FCC to address concerns about post-merger competition and access to content and distribution.

Executives at Disney, Time Warner and Viacom have been huddling with FCC commissioners and staffers to discuss their concerns with the proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal.

Disney vp of government relations Susan Fox had a conversation this week with two FCC staff members "regarding the conditions that may be put in place seeking to police how Comcast operates with regards to the growing online video marketplace," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Also, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes expressed in a phone conversation with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday his desire for the online video market to evolve "in a way that supports the creation of high-quality programming."

Viacom, Disney and Time Warner have conveyed their concerns that Comcast and NBC Universal, once joined through merger, won't favor each other and exclude competitors when it comes to access to content and distribution.

By the end of the month, the FCC and the Justice Department are expected to detail additional conditions they'd like to put on the deal prior to its approval.

An NBC source told The Hollywood Reporter that it is expected that the merger will be approved on Jan. 25, when the FCC is having their next meeting, and Jan. 28 is likely the day the official announcement will be made.

However, on Tuesday, the FCC will reportedly issue an updated agenda for the Jan. 25 meeting. If the merger vote is not added to the agenda of the meeting, it could still happen any time.