Comcast today confirmed what observers had been predicting for awhile: that the merger with NBC Universal won’t be completed by the end of this year as Comcast had hoped because of a delay in the regulatory approval process.
“We believe the FCC and the DOJ continue to make substantial process toward approval of our transaction,” Comcast’s VP government communications Sena Fitzmaurice said in a statement. “However because of the lead time required to prepare for a close, it now appears that we will not be able to close the transaction with GE relating to NBC Universal by year-end. We have notified our transition teams that there will not be a December 31 closing. We believe the regulatory review puts us on track for a closing in January 2011. We are appreciative of the hard work by the FCC and DOJ staff and by our own transition teams, and look forward to completing the process early next year.”
The Comcast-NBCU deal has drawn an enormous level of scrutiny. WGAW yesterday called it “the most immediate threat to the future of media.” “This merger must not be approved without strong conditions that protect competition, diversity, and independence,” the guild said.