Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Shhh! The FCC Says It Will Approve Comcast–NBC U Deal

Some non-news from Washington: The Federal Communications Commission says it will approve the Comcast-NBC Universal deal, with some restrictions.

Completists will still need to hear from the Department of Justice, which is also reviewing the transaction, but since both Comcast and NBC announced yesterday that they expected the deal to close in January, it’s hard to imagine there’s much in the way of a surprise coming.

It would be great to tell you what restrictions the FCC wants, but the government agency won’t say so publicly, at least for now.

But since a document with the FCC’s proposed restrictions is currently being circulated to officials at Comcast and GE-owned NBC, the information should get out sooner than later.

The FCC also held a “background” press conference on the deal this morning, in which it asked participants not to quote government officials directly. That’s not uncommon in Washington, but that doesn’t make it any less astonishing: The FCC knows about Twitter, right?

Still, in this case, that works out just fine, since FCC officials didn’t provide direct answers to any questions.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik