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European Commission Okays Comcast/NBCU

The European Commission, the European Union's merger review arm, has signed off on the Comcast/NBCU deal.
"After examining the operation, the commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it," the commission said in a statement.
The EC took less than six weeks to decide that the deal posed no anticompetitive threats, which was helped by the fact that Comcast does not have any European cable holdings.
The EC conceded that the combination of NBCU and Comcast's stake in MGM results in horizontal overlaps in various markets in the European Economic Area, but said that the overlaps were limited. It also drew a distinction between between the deal and its vetting in the states.
"[C]ontrary to the US," the EC said, "in the EEA, the transaction does not lead to any vertical relationship between Comcast's cable distribution platform and NBC Universal's programming assets."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.