The FCC is expected to approve the Comcast/NBC merger in January. Last Thursday, the deal got the conditional backing of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who drafted an order to approve the proposed merger, with certain conditions.
Among them: making NBCU and Comcast video content available to pay-TV competitors, such as satellite providers and emerging online competitors such as Netflix and Apple Inc.
Genachowski also plans to include requirements that seek to prevent Comcast from favoring its own content over that of its competitors. According to the AP, he’s calling for Comcast to continue to offer an affordable, standalone broadband option for customers who want internet access but not cable.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that in a “last minute concession” to the FCC, Comcast agreed to offer internet service for $9.95 a month to low-income families, and would subsidize the purchase of user-ready computers for about $150, to those who qualify within their set guidelines.
The 4 other FCC commissioners have to review Genachowski’s proposed order and vote on it in the next few weeks.
It has been over a year since General Electric, NBCU’s parent company, struck a deal with Comcast to sell its media unit.