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If you're against Comcast - NBC deal you have about six weeks to let FCC know

March 18, 2010 |  3:12 pm

Opponents of Comcast's proposed deal to acquire control of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal have until May 3 to get their gripes to the Federal Communications Commission or forever hold their peace.

The FCC today announced its schedule to hear what the industry and media watchdogs have to say about the deal. This is all part of the agency's regulatory process to determine whether it will give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the transaction.

Here's how it works. Comments from those opposing the deal are due on May 3. Then Comcast will respond to those comments by June 2. Then the opponents have until June 17 to respond to Comcast's responses. Welcome to Washington.

Besides the usual suspects of anti-merger activists, it will be interesting to see if any rival media companies express concerns or ask about conditions on the deal. Generally speaking, big media tends to leave other big media alone, but every now and then a deal is too huge to ignore, as was the case when Walt Disney Co. made noise about Time Warner's ill-fated merger with America Online.

Of course, not all comments have to be negative. So if you love a deal that will merge the nation's largest cable and broadband operator with a programming giant, send the FCC a note to let them know! If you want to read the full public notice, it can be found here.

-- Joe Flint