files/pictures/picture-35.jpgThe FCC and the Department of Justice have given the okay on Comcast's purchase of a controlling share in NBC Universal, reports Variety
. The deal is worth $30 billion.
As part of the approval, the government is making Comcast add 10 new indie cable channels to its service, expand local news, add additional kids' programming, and provide low-cost broadband to poor neighborhoods.
To help protect online competitors, the government made Comcast set linear feeds license fees to online distributors that match those of cable providers. Additionally, Comcast must license their broadcast, cable or film content to online streaming sites at going rates as long as the site has one deal in place with a competitor.
The government also tried to put restraints on Comcast from punishing studios or networks that make deals with distribution competitors. Some worry that the restrictions don't do enough to curb the power of the combined Comcast and NBC Universal.
Additionally, Comcast had to give up the management role in Hulu.com. For now Comcast had no plans for getting rid of its share in the online site, which it shares with Disney and News Corp., but insiders speculate it will happen down the line, especially with Comcast starting the similar site Xfinity.
When it comes to disagreements over prices and terms, Comcast has to go into arbitration.
In addition, Comcast has to offer broadband Internet by itself without requiring a cable TV subscription.
Comcast chief operating officer Steve Burke will take over the CEO post at NBC Universal. Robert Greenblatt is becoming chairman of NBC Ent. and Comcast's Ted Harbert NBC Broadcasting.