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Time Warner, Disney and News Corp. bigwigs speak up against FCC stipulations in Comcast-NBC deal

Darren Murph
January 14, 2011
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Hello, inevitable. It simply had to happen, and now, it is. As Comcast, NBC and the FCC attempt to work out stipulations over Comcast's proposed 51 percent buyout of NBC Universal, a smattering of major media companies are paying close attention to the play-by-play. Naturally, the precedents that are set from this deal will affect future agreements of this caliber, and lobbyists for both Disney and News Corp. (as well as Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes) aren't standing over on the sidelines any longer. All three outfits have reportedly been "voicing their concerns this week with the FCC, worried that such conditions could undermine their own efforts to profit from the nascent online video industry."

We're told that the media mega-corps are worried that the rules -- if hammered down -- could interfere with ongoing negotiations with online video providers, and in turn, give them less leverage to monetize and control their content on the world wide web. In other words, if NBC Universal is forced to provide content fluidly to all ISPs (and not just Comcast), what's to say other content makers and internet providers wouldn't also be forced into similar deals, regardless of whether or not they're involved in takeover negotiations? Needless to say, we're nowhere near the end of this journey, and while the nuts and bolts are pretty dry to think about, the outcomes could have a serious impact on our future viewing habits.



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