Will Comcast Merge with NBC?
NBC--actually NBC Universal—is currently owned by General Electric, with an 80 percent stake, and Vivendi of France, with 20 percent. The Journal suggests that Comcast may end up with a 51 percent stake, giving Comcast control and reducing GE to minority partner. Where that leaves Vivendi is unclear. "It has the option to offload its stake, but could balk at terms it finds disagreeable," says the Journal.
The resulting company would be a colossus. Its reach would extend from cable TV to movies, via the historic Universal Studios, to a couple of dozen TV networks including NBC itself. However, the deal probably would not include Universal Music, one of the four largest record labels, which is currently 100 percent owned by Vivendi.
The Journal also reports that the deal would face obstacles--see follow up story.