Look for Comcast to submit the NBCU joint venture proposal to the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission for antitrust vetting within about a month, according to a Comcast spokesperson, with the same timetable for the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC's consideration of the deal extends to public interest concerns, so Comcast must submit a public-interest statement with its request for transfer of the NBC station licenses.
Comcast executive vice president David Cohen says he believes the up-front commitments the company has already made address "a number of valid issues we thought could appropriately be asserted about the transaction." They include expanding over-the-air programming to Hispanics, expanding kids programming and content controls, and extending program access requirements to retransmission consent.
But he also said he thought existing laws and regulations "are more than ample to protect the public in connection with any additional risks that might be presented by this transaction," which he said does not increase media concentration or create additional incentives to discriminate.