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Guest Message by DevFuse


GE Buys Out Vivendi: Clears way For Comcast/NBC Deal

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66 replies to this topic

#61 OFFLINE   bicker1


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Posted 03 December 2009 - 01:09 PM

I am sorry but that is not the case. This is not a 10 year old issue, the FCC recently looked at Time Warner and Comcast's practice of witholding regional sports nets from other providers through the "terrestrial loophole" in 2006 when the two companies bought/merged with Adelphia cable who had fallen into bankrupcy.

It is a ten year old issue. The situation you are referring to was not the first time your perspective has been raised. It was raised as far back as 1997, and perhaps even further back than that, but I don't recall. Every few years we can expect people who believe as you to do try to make a play for imposing their own brand of what has been repeatedly deemed as "NOT fairness" by the entities designated by our society to make those decisions.

As a condition of the merger, the FCC ruled that ...

And we can expect similar conditions applied to the establishment of this JV, because of the JV. There is nothing surprising about that. It doesn't mean anyone has been doing anything wrong up until now. When such conditions are applied they are simply a matter of the application of balance. Just because you didn't like the balanced reached in 1998 or 2006 or any of the other times this issue has been addressed doesn't mean that someone did something wrong. That was the point.

While I am not certain what the government will do in this case, the have recently shown they will allow Comcast to continue a practice that has been determined "unfair" if the right people are lobbying for it.

Ridiculous. Their allowing a service provider to do something means that they determined that specific thing to be fair, or part of a fair overall system. You choose to call it "unfair", even though the FCC's actions, by your own assertion, belie your labeling.

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#62 OFFLINE   dreadlk


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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:54 PM

GE is in horrible financial shape right now, and this makes sense for their shareholders. And shareholders are the ONLY reason a public, for-profit company exists.

They're also probably going to sell their appliance division to LG or a Chinese company.

I wonder what Thomas Edison would think...

GE will probably be selling off many off it's assets, but the reason is not what most of you think. GE is posistioning themselves to be the prime contractor when the work is started on the new Eltric Power grids and also alternate energy sources projects.

#63 OFFLINE   phrelin


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Posted 03 December 2009 - 05:12 PM

GE is not in terrible shape. From the Wall Street Journal today:

Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said General Electric Co. will gain $8 billion in cash by selling a majority stake in NBC Universal, which he plans to use largely to strengthen GE's industrial arm.

"The priorities are to invest in infrastructure growth," Mr. Immelt told analysts Thursday, after GE said it had agreed to sell a 51% stake in NBC Universal to Comcast Corp.

Combined with the ongoing shrinking of GE's finance unit, the sale will refocus the conglomerate on its industrial roots. Mr. Immelt said he is most interested in expanding GE's businesses in aviation, health care, energy and oil and gas. "All of those are green lights on the right terms and the right way," said Mr. Immelt.

GE Capital, the finance unit, is suffering mostly from mortgages in Britain but it isn't that bad. What most people don't know is that on October 23, 2008 the FDIC approved an interpretation of regulations related to the TARP loan guarantee program (TLGP) that created a new category of eligible applicants - "affiliates" of an FDIC-insured institution. Thus, in this June 2009 Washington Post investigation article we learned:

General Electric, the world's largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government's key rescue programs for banks.

At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.

As a result, GE has joined major banks collectively saving billions of dollars by raising money for their operations at lower interest rates. Public records show that GE Capital, the company's massive financing arm, has issued nearly a quarter of the $340 billion in debt backed by the program, which is known as the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, or TLGP. The government's actions have been "powerful and helpful" to the company, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged in December.

GE's finance arm is not classified as a bank. Rather, it worked its way into the rescue program by owning two relatively small Utah banking institutions, illustrating how the loopholes in the U.S. regulatory system are manifest in the government's historic intervention in the financial crisis.

The Obama administration now wants to close such loopholes as it works to overhaul the financial system. The plan would reaffirm and strengthen the wall between banking and commerce, forcing companies like GE to essentially choose one or the other.

GE has a way of coming through these regulatory things unscathed. And just about the time the Obama Administration tightens up the bank regulations GE will spin off the rest of GE Capital (they already did a partial spinoff about five years ago thereby avoiding the insurance industry collapse in the Great Recession).

It's a little hard for me to figure out how regulators can object much to a Comcast-GE jointly owned NBCU. GE is just seeking a partner that can be a better manager.:sure:

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#64 OFFLINE   Drew2k


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Posted 03 December 2009 - 08:13 PM

This has been a great thread. It's helped make things clear for me on so many levels, and as a result I have now added a forum member to my ignore list. I'm free! I'm free!

#65 OFFLINE   bicker1


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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:25 AM

Affiliates are looking for assurances to be mandated:


Anyone with any reasonable level of understanding of business and government knows that there are going to be significant restrictions, limitations and/or conditions placed on Comcast's acquisition of NBCU. Toward the bottom of the linked article, three affiliate concerns are listed:

IMHO, #1 is almost surely going to result in utterly unenforceable conditions.

IMHO, #3 is almost surely going to result in clearly enforceable conditions along the lines of what the affiliates are saying that they want.

IMHO, #2 in the linked article is probably the best indicator of who "wins" (between network and affiliates). For #2, if regulators place restrictions on NBC that it does not place on ABC or CBS, then the affiliates can consider it a big win (and Comcast investors can consider it a big loss). If the deal goes through without restrictions place on NBC that aren't placed on ABC or CBS, then the network can consider it a big win (and affiliate can continue to worry about how broadband Internet will continue to reduce the value and relevance of over-the-air broadcasting).

#66 OFFLINE   bicker1


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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:07 PM

A nuisance petition was denied by the FCC today. I'm not sure how many of these silly delaying tactics have been spewed into the system since the deal was announced, but the FCC made it clear that they're not going to give credence to such silliness: "The pleading process provides an open and transparent forum for public participation by any interested party, and we do not see the logic in delaying that process in order to hold preliminary public hearings." [DA-10-595A1]

#67 OFFLINE   bicker1


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Posted 20 May 2010 - 05:34 AM

An update on the Comcast / NBCU deal ...

House Telecommunications Subcommittee Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and former subcommittee chair Fred upton (R-Mich.) have added their voices to those supporting the joint venture between Philadelphia-based Comcast and GE's NBCU.

Upton, Doyle Back Comcast-NBCU Deal - 2010-05-19 15:21:00 | Multichannel News

So the deal has bipartisan support.

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