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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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