The EC has approved the takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast on the grounds that the two companies’ combined market share in Europe would be limited.
Under the terms of the proposed deal between Comcast and NBC Universal’s owner GE, the two would parties will form a joint venture in which Comcast would contribute its cable networks, 10 regional sports networks and a number of digital media properties. In return, GE will contribute 100% of Comcast. The joint venture will be 51% owned by Comcast, 49% by GE and managed by Comcast.
The EC’s decision contrasts with that of the US’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which last month effectively put the deal on hold by asking for more information.
In addition to its cable interests, Comcast’s programming business includes E! Entertainment and Style Network, both of which have European distribution. They will combine with Universal Networks properties that include Universal Channel, 13th Street Universal, Syfy Universal (the former Sci Fi), Diva Universal and Studio Universal.