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Comcast, feds huddle on merger

Sides meet to discuss possible conditions for approval of NBC U union

Comcast and NBC Universal executives met last week with officials from the FCC and the Dept. of Justice to talk about conditions expected to be placed on the companies’ proposed merger.

The meeting may be a signal that a resolution of the government’s review of the transaction is near.

Discussed were potential conditions related to online video distribution, broadband Internet services and Hulu, according to a filing with the FCC.

The FCC and Justice Dept.’s Antitrust Division, which must greelight the proposed deal, are expected to address concerns about online video competitors’ ability to get access to Comcast’s Internet platform and Comcast or NBC U’s video content.

NBC Universal owns about 30% of Hulu, and Comcast has its own online video venture, Xfinity.

Among those who attended the Dec. 8 meeting were Comcast exec VP David Cohen, NBC U general counsel Rick Cotton, the FCC’s Edward Lazarus and the Justice Dept.’s Joseph Matelis. Also present were John Read and David Kully from the Justice Dept.’s Litigation III section.