FCC, DOJ near approval for Comcast-NBC deal: report

NEW YORK Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:42pm EST

People walk around Rockefeller Center, home of NBC's studios, in New York, December 3, 2009. REUTERS/Chip East

People walk around Rockefeller Center, home of NBC's studios, in New York, December 3, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Chip East

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Both the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice could soon approve Comcast Corp's purchase of NBC Universal, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the review.

The Journal said the FCC could approve the deal as early as Tuesday, with only one of the agency's five commissioners voting against the combination. The Justice Department's approval is expected to follow shortly after, the report said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, both bodies are expected to include conditions to protect competition in online video.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski backed the deal in December, subject to conditions addressing competition in areas like online video and program access.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, is buying a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co to create a $30 billion business that would include broadcast, cable networks, movie studios and theme parks.

Comcast, the FCC and the Justice Department could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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