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EU okays Comcast-NBCU deal

European Commission greenlights takeover

BRUSSELS — Comcast’s takeover of NBC Universal has received a green light from Europe’s competition watchdog.

Decision comes as the FCC restarts its review of the deal Stateside, with a ruling expected by the end of the year. Process was put on hold in June to allow the two companies to provide additional information.

Comcast owns no cable assets in Europe, so difficulties over a tie-up with NBC Universal’s programming activities are not as marked as in the U.S.

But its stake in MGM and other overlaps raised concerns over TV program licensing, online advertising sales, movie production for theatrical distribution and home entertainment content sales.

On inspection, the European Commission concluded that the companies’ combined market shares remain “very limited” in all the European Economic Area countries where they are both active, with only a limited increase if the merger goes ahead.

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