Bloomberg and Comcast fighting again
Bloomberg LP and Comcast Corp. are at it again.
The business news giant is accusing Comcast of reneging on a promise it made to the Federal Communications Commission as part of the government agency's approval of its deal to acquire control of General Electric Co.'s NBCUniversal.
At issue is where the Bloomberg Television channel is placed on Comcast cable systems. Comcast is now owner of CNBC, the dominant financial news cable network, and Bloomberg argued to the FCC that it would be unfairly discriminated against unless the FCC made Comcast agree to not favor its own network on the dial.
Now, five months after the deal closed, Bloomberg is threatening to complain to the FCC that Comcast is ignoring its order. Comcast has not moved Bloomberg closer to CNBC in its channel lineups.
“If Comcast continues to thumb its nose at the FCC’s order, Bloomberg will take its case to the commission and ask that it enforce the conditions it attached to approval of Comcast’s acquisition of NBC-Universal," said Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP.
Comcast countered that Bloomberg is asking for something that isn't legally required as part of the FCC's approval, and it is not mandated to automatically move Bloomberg's channel next to CNBC and that it has not moved CNBC to a stronger position since the deal closed.
"Bloomberg simply misinterprets the 'neighborhooding' condition in the FCC's Comcast NBCUniversal transaction order," the company said, adding that it "does not 'neighborhood' news channels in the way Bloomberg seeks to be repositioned."
Comcast further argued that if it did what Bloomberg wanted, "millions of customers will be subject to disruption and confusion required by massive channel realignments across the country, all to benefit an already-thriving, $30-billion media company."
-- Joe Flint