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The GE, Comcast deal could be done as early as Thursday

General Electric and Comcast have worked out a deal in which Comcast will receive a majority stake of the NBC Universal broadcasting company once Vivendi signs away its 20% stake.

NBC could be a joint operation between GE and Comcast for a few years, and then GE is expected to leave the company behind in 2012 or 2013.  NBC Universal currently includes Universal Pictures movie studios, cable channels USA, Syfy, Bravo, and the Universal Studios theme parks.

GE now controls 80% of the company, with an estimated value of $30 billion -- Comcast will receive the company and its $9 billion debt, while Comcast is expected to include its own cash contribution.  When the deal is completed, Comcast will become one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, and may be better suited to battle The Walt Disney Co.

GE has manufactured a wide range of industrial products ranging from dishwashers and light bulbs to jet engines, but its interest in NBC has always been rather intriguing.  The company didn't want to spin off NBC, but has struggled greatly due to the global economy, while spinning off other businesses.

In the future, GE plans to attempt to rejuvenate its manufacturing branches, while leaving other industries alone, analysts believe.

The Federal Communications Commission must now take a look at the deal -- which could take up to one year to complete -- though the companies involved do not expect any major problems from the federal government.



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So on the surface...
By wysingertech on 12/2/2009 8:18:44 AM , Rating: 2
GE is unloading NBC Universal. That's a little benign.

However lets look at where this is likely going.

1. Comcast has already been toying with bandwith caps, both 'experimentally' and illegally for which they got their wrists slapped.

2. Comcast has been a huge moving force behind the 'anti' net nutrality movement, pushing to allow the ISP's to determine data priorities for their networks, and potentially allow for paying users to get that data priority.

3. Comcast is making a move to also purchase/acquire Hulu, arguably the number one provider for streamed broadcast video media. (Coincidentally Hulu has already been planning a paid service model to be implemented in the next few years.)

Doesn't this seriously constitute a breach of any and all anti monopoly legislation?

They (Comcast) are already on record complaining about Youtube and Google bandwith comsumption.

So devils advocate here... all these studios and media companies that host their own content which they allow people to log in and view, think it would be beneath Comcast to throttle their bandwith to ensure Hulu was the only non-stuttering portal to view said content?

I would love to hear your opinions either way.




RE: So on the surface...
By wysingertech on 12/2/2009 8:26:51 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry to reply to my own post but two additional bits for your consideration:

Comcast already has a service monopoly in a number of markets, or at least severely limited competition.

Hulu content vesus the same content on a media companies site, the Hulu content is often edited.


RE: So on the surface...
By Spivonious on 12/2/2009 9:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see how anti-trust laws come into play. Could you explain that a bit more? Points 1 and 3 are perfectly legal. A company can do what it wants to as long it's not illegal. Implementing bandwidth caps and changing Hulu to be subscription-based are not illegal. As far as net neutrality, there are no laws on that yet, so we'll have to wait and see (and of course contact your representative/senator to make sure your opinion is heard).

They do have a monopoly for cable TV service in their areas. That monopoly is government-mandated.


RE: So on the surface...
By acortez on 12/2/2009 9:37:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They do have a monopoly for cable TV service in their areas. That monopoly is government-mandated.


Then what are FiOS and Sat?


RE: So on the surface...
By Spivonious on 12/2/2009 9:42:03 AM , Rating: 2
They're not cable TV providers?


RE: So on the surface...
By cplusplus on 12/2/2009 4:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they are. U-Verse and DirecTV/Dish Network, anyone?


RE: So on the surface...
By acortez on 12/2/2009 9:42:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
So devils advocate here... all these studios and media companies that host their own content which they allow people to log in and view, think it would be beneath Comcast to throttle their bandwith to ensure Hulu was the only non-stuttering portal to view said content?


That would require some really slick BW measures.
More likely is that all owned Comcast content resides solely on the Comcast network so that Comcast customers get the best experience compared to say someone else outside of their networks.


RE: So on the surface...
By Suntan on 12/2/2009 12:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
think it would be beneath Comcast to throttle their bandwith to ensure Hulu was the only non-stuttering portal to view said content?


I'm sorry, could you please provide me a link to this other hulu site you talk about. The one you say provides non-stuttering content...

-Suntan


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