The Federal Communications Commission may approve Comcast Corp.’s proposed purchase of NBC Universal Tuesday, according to reports.
Citing what it called “people close to the review,” the Wall Street Journal said four of the FCC’s five members may vote for the deal following negotiations over the three-day U.S. holiday weekend.
The deal, proposed in Dec. 2009, would combine Comcast’s Internet and cable services with NBC’s broadcast stations, cable channels such as MSNBC and Bravo and an ownership stake in the online video service Hulu.
In addition to the FCC, it has been scrutinized by the Justice Department, which also is concluding its review, and which may impose terms that compel Comcast to make NBC’s programming available to online competitors as well as rival cable companies.
Regulators are concerned that if left to its own devices, Comcast might give priority to its own online content, making it load faster than other websites.
The FCC and Comcast both declined to comment. NBC Universal could not immediately be reached for comment.
Under the proposed agreement, Philadelphia-based Comcast will acquire a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal, paying $6.5 billion in cash to General Electric Co., NBC Universal’s parent company. Comcast will also contribute cable channels valued at $7.25 billion to a joint venture that will own the entertainment company.
Shares of Comcast rose 5 cents to $22.77 early Tuesday, while shares of General Electric fell 11 cents to $18.71.