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House Competition Subcommittee Chair Johnson OK With Comcast/NBCU

The chair of the House Judiciary Courts and Competition petiton Policy subcommitee has urged approval of the Comcast/NBCU deal by the end of the year.

In a letter to the FCC commissionsers, Rep. (D.-Ga.) Hank Johnson said that, after Hill hearings and his discussions with stakeholders, he is confident the deal "will not undermine competition."

Johnson, who is African American, cited the memorandum of understanding with African-American groups announced Friday and other commitments to diversity, local programming and over-the-air broadcasting, and went so far as to say the diversity commitments (which also include ones with Asian American and Hispanic groups) could serve as the "new standard" for corporate diversity.

According to a source, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski was signaling a draft decision on the deal could be circulated by the end of this week or early next, though a vote would likely not come until early next month.
"In light of my extensive review of this proposal," he said, " I encourage your agency to complete its exhaustive ten-month-long review and approve it my yea

"I would not rule out a vote by the end of the year, " said a source close to one of the commissioners, but suggested it was unlikly since on Dec. 17 they had still seen no paper on the decision.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

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.