Comcast considered purchasing Facebook or Viacom, rather than NBC, according to a detailed account of the Comcast-General Electric deal in the New York Times by Andrew Ross Sorkin and Tim Arango.
Comcast was in a buying mood at the start of 2009. It assessed its portfolio and looked for places to grow. In addition to Facebook and Viacom, it considered a mobile phone company, or cable company, but ultimately went after NBC.
It started its flirtation with General Electric in March when the market was still in the doldrums and GE’s stock wasn’t worth much. The talks became serious at the annual Sun Valley conference in July where Jeff Immelt met with Comcast’s patriarchal co-founder Ralph Roberts.
From there talks carried on until the deal was closed this week.