New information sought in NBC-Comcast deal

FCC request pushes back deadline for comments

NEW YORK -- The FCC has requested additional information on key aspects of the planned acquisition of a 51% stake in NBC Universal by Comcast Corp. This will push back previously set deadlines for comments on the deal.

The cable giant must file reports providing more information on two issues that critics of the deal in Congressional hearings have already focused on and raised questions about. Comcast must detail the economic support for the claimed benefits from the transaction, as well as the merger's potential impact on online video distribution.

A spokeswoman said Comcast expects to file the added reports in the next two to three weeks, close to the May 3 deadline the FCC had originally set for comments and petitions to deny the merger. As a result, the FCC has halted its informal 180 day clock for the review process to provide enough comment time once Comcast files the added documents.

While this will make for a delay, the Comcast spokeswoman said the company continues to project to wrap up the regulatory process for the deal in the fourth quarter.

"We look forward to working with the commission to submit the additional information they've requested," Comcast said. "We know they want to conduct a thorough and expeditious review of this transaction and we'll be submitting these reports as soon as possible. We understand and agree in this case with the Commission's desire to have a full comment period on key documents submitted by the applicants."