U.S. approves Comcast-NBC merger

By Kristen Hamill, CNN


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice on Tuesday approved -- with several conditions -- a merger of the country's largest cable operator, Comcast, and broadcasting company NBC Universal.

The FCC voted 4-1 in favor of the deal.

"After a thorough review, we have adopted strong and fair merger conditions to ensure this transaction serves the public interest," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement.

The FCC said the Comcast-NBC Universal combination will be required to take steps to increase competition in the video marketplace. In addition, Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) has committed to expanding local news coverage, expand programs for Spanish-speaking viewers and offer Internet access to schools and libraries.

The lone dissenter, Commissioner Michael Copps, expressed concern that the merger will limit communications choices and drive up costs to consumers.

"At the end of the day, the public interest requires more -- much more -- than it is receiving," Copps said in a statement.

Comcast also agreed to cease its management of the News Corp., (NWS, Fortune 500) NBC Universal, and Disney (DIS, Fortune 500)-owned video sharing site Hulu - though Comcast and NBC Universal can still maintain a financial stake in the site.

Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney said the move was essential so that, "Comcast cannot use NBCU's partial ownership of Hulu to diminish its competitive significance."

Varney added that she's confident in the settlement. "The conditions imposed will maintain an open and fair marketplace while at the same time allow the innovative aspects of the transaction to go forward," she said in a statement.

The merger should be complete by the end of January and the new venture will be managed by Comcast, according to a joint press release from both Comcast and NBCU. Comcast will own 51% of the company, NBC Universal will own 49%, the press release said.

Comcast CEO and Chairman Brian L. Roberts said the company was "proud" and "excited" about today's FCC decision.

GE (GE, Fortune 500) Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement that he was confident that NBCU would be in "good hands" under Comcast's leadership. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,804.80 26.65 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,765.38 16.98 0.36%
S&P 500 2,070.65 9.42 0.46%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.03 -1.27%
Data as of 12:10am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.62 0.09 0.51%
Apple Inc 111.78 -0.87 -0.77%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.48 1.91%
Intel Corp 36.37 -0.65 -1.76%
Microsoft Corp 47.66 0.14 0.29%
Data as of Dec 19

Sections

New York Magazine reporter Jessica Pressler, who has been caught up in controversy this past week, will not be moving on to a new job at Bloomberg News. More

Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More

Forums in dark corners of the web sell the kinds of hacks that befell Sony. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

The income of the top 1% jumped significantly in 2012, far outpacing inflation. Not only did this group make a larger share of the country's income, their share of total taxes also jumped from 35% to 38%. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.