Hand-Wringing in Comcast-NBC Deal
Major media companies are raising concerns that government conditions on Comcast Corp.’s impending deal to acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co. could put them at a disadvantage in future negotiations to shape the burgeoning online video market.
At issue is a condition proposed by the Federal Communications Commission that would require Comcast to offer NBC programming to any online video service that has reached a similar deal for content from at least one of NBC’s competitors, such as Walt Disney Co. or News Corp.
Lobbyists for both Disney and News Corp., along with Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes, have been voicing their concerns this week with the FCC, worried that such conditions could undermine their own efforts to profit from the nascent online video industry. News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal.