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Comcast gains approval for merger

Family-controlled media company Comcast announced on 20 January that it has won the approval of US regulators for its merger with NBC Universal, a deal that was first announced more than a year back.

Comcast will acquire 51% of NBCU, with the remaining being retained by General Electric, which will sell it to Comcast over seven years.

Chairman and chief executive of the Philadelphia-based company, Brian Roberts said in a statement: “The NBC Universal joint venture will be well positioned to compete, innovate, and bring new choices to consumers. Our original vision for the combination remains intact so that consumers will benefit, and our competitors will be treated fairly.”

After a year-long review, the Federal Communications Commission gave its nod for the deal.

The merger, expected to be completed by the end of January, was first announced in 2009, when General Electric agreed to sell its controlling stake in NBC to Comcast. The deal is valued at nearly $30 billion and would bring Comcast-NBCU alongside Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp empire in terms of total equity.

Comcast is currently headed by chairman Brian Roberts (pictured). It was founded in 1963 by his father Ralph Roberts, along with Daniel Aaron and Julian Brodsky. The family controls one-third of the shareholder votes in the company.

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