As expected, several from public interest groups and Comcast competitors called for the deal to be rejected, while one cable group proposed a laundry list of conditions. And, in case you're wondering, Comcast is still very much in favor of getting the deal done. Here's a snapshot:
One of the suggestions: The ACA wants Comcast-NBCU to be required to sell NBC stations and regional sports networks on a standalone basis, eliminating the possibility of bundling carriage for other networks. The group also wants Comcast-NBC to be prohibited from requiring any pay-TV operator with 125,000 video subs or less locally to pay a fee for an NBC station or regional sports net that is 5 percent greater than the lowest fee paid by any other local pay-TV distributor, including Comcast.
"Our review of Comcast's internal business-planning documents confirms what we said in our original petition. It shows that the goal of this transaction is to use NBCU’s content to extend Comcast’s market power into the Internet space," said MAP SVP and policy director Andrew Jay Schwartzman. "There are no conditions which can ameliorate this problem; the Commission should reject the proposed deal.”
Comcast EVP David Cohen answered deal critics on the MSO's blog, holding that the credibility of "apocalyptic predictions" related to the deal "is thoroughly undercut by today's dynamic competitive media marketplace."
He also cut down claims that the size of the deal is unprecedented, presenting a chart showing that the value of the Comcast-NBCU transaction ($30 billion) ranks ninth compared to the value of other deals at the time they were announced. The biggest: AOL-Time Warner Cable ($165 billion), followed by AT&T-BellSouth ($67 billion), SBC-Ameritech ($62 billion), and AT&T-MediaOne ($58 billion).
Other regulatory items of note that are not related to the Comcast-NBCU deal:
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable