FCC Honcho: Comcast Can Only Buy NBC if It Shares

Commission aims to block media stranglehold
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2010 11:41 AM CST
FCC Honcho: Comcast Can Only Buy NBC if It Shares
In this Aug. 21, 2009 file photo, the NBC logo glows in neon lights at its headquarters in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, file)

Comcast should only be able to go through with its plans to buy NBC Universal if it's willing to share the media giant’s content with its competitors, according to Julius Genachowski. The FCC chairman gave his conditional approval for the merger last week, proposing a set of rules that would force Comcast to allow rival cable providers and satellite TV companies access to NBC’s content at a reasonable price.

Comcast would also be forbidden from withholding NBC’s content from online competitors like Netflix and iTunes. Genachowski’s conditions aren’t final—he’ll need to get at least two other FCC commissioners to sign off on them—but if they are approved, Comcast tells the AP that it would probably accept them. (More Comcast stories.)

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