Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal was approved by the FCC and the Justice Department on Tuesday, clearing the way for the formation of a massive multimedia company that spans the cable-broadcast divide.
The FCC voted 4-1 in approving the merger, which is now expected to close on January 28.
The approval comes with conditions attached to it, especially surrounding the growing world of online video. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement:
After a thorough review, we have adopted strong and fair merger conditions to ensure this transaction serves the public interest. The conditions include carefully considered steps to ensure that competition drives innovation in the emerging online video marketplace.
The move is not without its critics. Three Republican congressmen, including the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, released a statement blasting the review process.
“We are glad Comcast can now get back to doing business and creating jobs, but the price of doing so should not be coerced compliance with the heavy-handed tactics of an overreaching FCC,” Upton, along with Greg Walden of Oregon and Lee Terry of Nebraska, said in the statement.
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