According to the Washington Post, the proposed merger between NBC and Comcast will not be approved this week as the FCC considers putting net neutrality conditions on the new company. Two Democratic commissioners are pushing for the two companies to preserve local media and that Comcast does not use its new-found market power to make it harder for content and media companies to reach consumers.
The merger has received the blessing of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, as long as the companies agree to certain conditions, including some specifics on online video content. Analysts expect Comcast to agree to provide NBC shows as long as other networks are providing their content to online video providers such as Apple TV and Netflix.
Several sources tell the Washington Post that Comcast and NBC "are expected to agree to net neutrality rules for a limited number of years." These rules would be upheld even if the FCC’s recently passed Internet access rules were to be overturned by courts, says the Washington Post.
Earlier this week, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen said that a vote on the merger would happen soon. He also noted that the company’s "commitment to provide $9.99 broadband access to low-income communities has been hailed by the tech community."
Meanwhile service providers such as Earthlink have petitioned for conditions that force Comcast to unbundle its broadband access so ISP’s can provide Internet access to Comcast customers (not likely to happen). Voxel wants Comcast to play fair in business-to-business relationships, saying that the company "purposefully keeps its pipes congested for certain content delivery networks such as Voxel and Tata Communications in order to charge them for better delivery of content."
We’ll see how this all plays out in the days ahead, but the merger will probably be approved soon.
Source: The Washington Post