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 FCC.
The commission'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 VP 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