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Comcast takes control of NBC Universal

LOS ANGELES — The nation's largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., took control of NBC Universal after the government shackled its behavior in the coming years to protect online video services such as Netflix and Hulu.

The deal closed shortly before midnight on Friday.

The takeover gave the cable-hookup company 51 percent control of NBC Universal, which owns the nation's fourth-ranked broadcaster, NBC; the Universal Pictures movie studio and related theme parks; and a bevy of cable channels including Bravo, E! and USA.

The combination had raised fears that Comcast might abuse its control of NBC Universal to favor its most valuable customers: the 23 million who rely on it for cable TV service and the 17 million who pay for Internet connections.

But the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission imposed conditions that prevent Comcast from keeping to itself NBC Universal's popular shows such as The Office and movies including Despicable Me for the next several years.

Comcast takes control of NBC Universal 01/29/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:18pm]

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