After intense lobbying by both Comcast and NBC, and a temporary hold-up late last year, the government has approved the their proposed deal — which is scheduled to close by the end of January.
Comcast, in short, is buying a majority stake in NBC Universal from General Electric — with the option to buy a larger NBC stake over time.
The combo was approved by a vote of 4 to 1, with the dissenting vote cast by Michael J. Copps, who said in a statement that the deal “confers too much power in one company’s hands.”
The deal came with several conditions imposed by the F.C.C and the Justice Department’s antitrust division, which said it will not block the deal.
Chief among them is that Comcast is required to give up NBC Universal’s management stake in Hulu, the premiere online TV Web site. Comcast said it would retain an economic stake in Hulu, and it would continue to provide shows and movies to Hulu.
“This is a proud and exciting day for Comcast,” said Brian L. Roberts, the Comcast chief executive.
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