FCC will not complete its review until Jan.

With the year end looming, it’s clear that the FCC will not complete its review of the proposed Comcast-NBC U merger until January at the earliest. But the five members of the regulatory body will have a draft copy to consider.

D.C. sources indicate a draft order approving the sale with conditions will be circulated as early as Friday for a possible vote next month.

A Comcast spokesman declined comment on the possibility of a draft order. But Comcast previously confirmed that the proposed merger would not be consummated this year.

Said government affairs VP Sena Fitzmaurice: “We believe the FCC and the Dept. of Justice continue to make substantial process toward approval of our transaction. However, because of the lead time required to prepare for a close, it now appears that we will not be able to close the transaction with GE relating to NBC Universal by year-end.

“We have notified our transition teams that there will not be a Dec. 31 closing. We believe the regulatory review puts us on track for a closing in January 2011. We are appreciative of the hard work by the FCC and DOJ staff and by our own transition teams.”

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