Brussels, 13 July 2010
Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of NBC Universal, the US global media and entertainment company, by Comcast Corporation, also of the US. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Comcast is active in cable networks in the US, as well as in the production and licensing of TV content and channels, but owns no cable assets in the EEA. Comcast also has a stake in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ("MGM"), the US film and entertainment company.
In the EEA, the proposed transaction leads to horizontal overlaps between the activities of Comcast, MGM and NBC Universal in various markets for the licensing of TV programmes to pay-TV and free TV operators, the sale of online advertising space, the production of motion pictures for theatrical distribution and the sale of home entertainment content.
But the Commission’s examination of the transaction showed that the parties' combined market shares remain very limited in all the EEA countries where they are both active, with only a limited increment resulting from the transaction. In addition, contrary to the US, in the EEA, the transaction does not lead to any vertical relationship between Comcast's cable distribution platform and NBC Universal's programming assets.
The transaction was notified to the Commission on 11.07.2010. More information on the case will be available at: