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Comcast-NBC deal in hands of regulators

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Comcast Corp.'s bid to acquire control of NBC Universal is in the hands of U.S. regulators now that the public comment period for the deal has ended.

Consumer advocates urged the Federal Communications Commission to reject the deal while Comcast defended it, saying it posed no competition concerns and was in the public interest, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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The company's rivals, meanwhile, proposed conditions on the deal, which would give Philadelphia-based Comcast 51 percent of NBC Universal's television and movie business for about $13.75 billion in cash and assets from General Electric Co.

Comcast and NBC have predicted the deal would close by the end of 2010 but the Journal said it remained unclear whether the FCC would complete its review by then. The Justice Department also is reviewing the deal.

David Cohen, a Comcast executive vice president, defended the deal in a blog post in which he said competitors are "opportunistically trying to get the FCC to put conditions on the transaction that will give them business advantages or hamper us from competing effectively."

The Journal said many of the conditions proposed by Comcast competitors focus on requiring the company to hold down prices for access to Comcast-NBC owned broadcast or cable stations.

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