The best tool to stop the proposed Comcast/NBC Universal merger: Comcast shareholders?

Posted by Mitchell - October 30, 2010 (entry 663)

Comcast is going all out to try to complete its proposed buyout of NBC Universal -- so much so that the amount of resources and money and effort it's enacting to grease the wheels is breathtaking even by Washington political standards and has become its own talking point by opponents.

The proposed merger has long been thought of as a done deal, with whatever conditions can be grafted on to the deal. Some think that it's those conditions which might be the best chance to scuttle the deal if they prove to be unsavory to Comcast investors. But there's another possibility: running out the clock.

Comcast has been all but vowing to have the merger finished by the end of the year 2010, perhaps because the company realizes that the proceedings would take a toll on their stock value if they don't finish the deal as promised by the end of 2010 or "shortly" thereafter. So it's little surprise that the strategy that opponents have been using has been to stall. It seems to be working: analysts are now saying the merger won't be finished before the end of the year.

If the merger proceedings gets dragged out to, say, April 2011, then you can expect a shareholder revolt to scuttle the deal. In response, there have been noises from sectors of power to finish the merger before the end of the year, emboldened by better-than-expected revenue during the merger proceedings. Nevertheless, there are all kinds of potential landmines lying in wait, including from Comcast opponents, former Comcast allies, some Comcast customers, and whatever other surprises lie in wait.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this website are those of the individual members of Chicago Media Action who authored them, and not necessarily those of the entire membership of Chicago Media Action, nor of Chicago Media Action as an organization.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.