Posts by James Speta

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Commentaries and Op-Eds

The proposed joint venture between Comcast Corporation and NBC Universal is a significant transaction in a significant market. The transaction will create a large media and distribution company, including the programming assets of both NBC, a leading national programmer, and Comcast, which owns several cable networks and some regional sports networks, and the distribution assets of NBC (namely, its owned-and-operated broadcast television stations). This new company will be majority-owned by Comcast, which in its own right is the nation�s largest distributor of multi-channel video programming, and Comcast could be in the position, within the next few years, to own 100% of the new joint venture. The size of the transaction is made more important by the markets in which the companies operate: the companies are more than just producers and distributors of entertainment and sports programming, which are of course important in their own rights, the companies also produce and distribute news and political programming. The mass media has long been considered a market important enough not only to draw scrutiny from antitrust authorities but also to justify the attention of a specialized regulator, using sector-specific regulation designed to achieve specific outcomes.

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