* Bloomberg wants news channel beside other news networks
* Accuses Comcast of not complying with merger condition
* Comcast contends all conditions being met
By Jasmin Melvin
WASHINGTON, June 13 Bloomberg LP, unhappy with
the placement of its financial news channel in Comcast Corp's
(CMCSA.O) cable television lineup, filed a complaint with the
U.S. communications regulator on Monday, accusing the cable
operator of violating a condition of its merger with NBC
Comcast, the No. 1 provider of video and residential
Internet service in the United States, acquired a 51 percent
stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co (GE.N) in
Approval of the merger came with a list of conditions to
protect the public interest and prevent anti-competitive
practices following a rigorous, year-long review by the Federal
Communications Commission and Justice Department.
In a complaint to the FCC, Bloomberg accused Comcast of
violating a "neighborhooding" condition of the merger that it
says requires Comcast to put like channels in the same place in
"If Comcast is dragging its feet on a condition this clear,
we can only imagine how they will live up to conditions that
are potentially less clear," said Greg Babyak, head of
government affairs for Bloomberg LP.
The complaint suggests Comcast is discriminating against
Bloomberg TV to increase viewership and advertising revenue for
its affiliated programming, including CNBC, Bloomberg TV's
dominant competitor, and other news networks now controlled by
the cable company.
Bloomberg has asked the FCC to require Comcast to comply
with this condition within 60 days by putting Bloomberg TV in
existing news neighborhoods on all Comcast systems in the 35
most populous U.S. markets.
Comcast has said that the FCC order regarding its
transaction only puts the neighborhooding condition into effect
if the company one day sets out to neighborhood its news or
business news channels.
"Comcast does not, and since the transaction has not,
'neighborhooded' channels on our systems," said Sena
Fitzmaurice, vice president of government communications for
(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)