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First Senate hearing set for Comcast-NBC Universal deal

January 20, 2010 |  2:51 pm

Now Congress wants to talk to NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker. No, it's not about Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno.

The lengthy review of cable giant Comcast Corp.'s deal to take a majority stake in General Electric Co's NBC Universal is about to get underway. First up, as expected, will be the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.). Zucker and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts are scheduled to appear at the hearing, which is set for Feb. 4. 

Kohl expressed concern about the deal when it was announced last month, saying, "This acquisition will create waves throughout the media and entertainment marketplace, and we don’t know where the ripples will end."

Also likely to testify are consumer advocates and media watchdogs as well as rival industry executives. 

The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department are also going to review the Comcast-NBC Universal deal and other committees in both the House and Senate will get a crack at it as well.

-- Joe Flint

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