Comcast/NBCU Deal Approved By Justice


As expected, the Justice Department Tuesday followed the Federal Communications Commission in approving the Comcast/NBCU deal, contingent among various agreements with the company, including that it will relinquish any management rights in Hulu.

Technically, that approval consists of first filing suit against the deal then announcing the settlement agreement that, with conditions, make it acceptable.

Justice said the deal will " preserve new content distribution models that offer more products and greater innovation, and the potential to provide consumers access to their favorite programming on a variety of devices in a wide selection of packages."

Justice's conditions on the deal mirror those of the FCC, according to an agency source, which includes prohibiting Comcast from " unreasonably discriminating in the transmission of an OVD's lawful network traffic to a Comcast broadband customer."

The FCC's approval order also says that Comcast/NBCU has to relinquish its managerial control over Hulu. The goal was to keep the NBC stake in Hulu so it has a vested interest in its success, but not allow it to assert management control. Comcast is also prevented from unreasonably witholding access to Hulu content to competitors.