Congress Urging FCC to Approve Comcast-NBCU

Comcast’s eleventh-hour push to secure approval from regulators for its joint venture with NBC Universal has paid off. Since the Federal Communications Commission put its final draft in circulation among the commissioners, Comcast has lined up additional support from Congressional leaders, 100 of whom urged the FCC to speed up the approval process.

In his draft order, circulated Dec. 23, FCC chair Julius Genachowski concluded that the $30 billion transaction between the two media companies, meets the public interest standard and should be approved, with conditions.

A letter signed by 97 House members urged the FCC to sign off on the deal “without further delay.”

“No one can question the extensive and comprehensive examination this transaction has received. In addition to six congressional hearings, the FCC’s regulatory process has provided unprecedented opportunities for public participation. As the commission itself has noted, the Comcast-NBCU transaction had the lengthiest formal pleading cycle that it has ever set for any similar transaction,” the representatives wrote in a Jan. 5 letter.

Several Senators have also urged the FCC to speed approval of the deal, along with several ethnic media groups.

Two Senators, Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) urged the FCC to use more caution in approving the deal, imposing stringent conditions.

On his blog, David Cohen, evp of public policy for Comcast, wrote that he expected an FCC decision “very soon.