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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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By nafhan on 12/2/2009 9:37:42 AM , Rating: 2
Infrastructure companies like Comcast controlling content is doubly bad for the consumer, because in addition to bundling services, they will be bundling content with the services, making it difficult or impossible for non-Comcast users to legally obtain that content. I see this causing a big uptick in BT usage and file sharing related lawsuits, if Comcast handles this like I expect them to.
I think best case for the consumer would be to purchase a connection from a company like Verizon or Comcast and then add services such as TV, phone, or internet from the company of the customers choice.




By therealnickdanger on 12/2/2009 10:23:23 AM , Rating: 2
Certain vehicles are restricted from certain roadways. Certain fluids are restricted from certain pipelines. Restricting content to infrastructure seems to be the norm in most other sectors. And we all know that the Internet is like a series of tubes...


By mindless1 on 12/2/2009 9:15:09 PM , Rating: 2
... yes I'm in favor of restricting the internet to certain kinds of electrical signals - those that carry data


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein











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