A voice of Philadelphia’s business community has made clear his support for Comcast’s majority acquisition of NBC Universal.
“There is an immediate jolt to the reputation of the city and region. This raises our visibility nationally and globally as the headquarters of Comcast,” said Rob Wonderling, the CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, in an organization press release. “It makes Ralph and Brian Roberts decision to stay in Philadelphia and build the HQ here even more significant and admirable.”
Last Thursday, Comcast announced it had agreed to terms with General Electric to take a 51 percent stake in NBC. The deal will have to undergo federal regulatory approval, primarily from the Federal Communications Commission, which could take up to a year.
“Even before merger takes place , the business would know NBC’s owners are in Philadelphia,” Wonderling said. The economic impact will come gradually. Because Comcast sees advantages in having its suppliers nearby, companies may move here to set up operations in anticipation of regulatory approval. As this acquisition takes roots, more opportunities will flourish.”
Not everyone has been so keen locally.
As shared last month, One Web Day Philly organizer Gwen Shaffer penned for Young Philly Politics an essay blasting the deal as being anti-competitive, a sentiment echoed by others in the public advocacy community.
“If the FCC approves the deal, it is obvious that consumers will end up paying higher fees for both content and access to programming. The cable giant already raises fees every few months, as it is,” Shaffer wrote. “If the merger goes through, Comcast will have an incentive to promote NBC shows over local or independent programming. This will make it even tougher to find alternative voices on cable.”
Below watch the merger discussed on PBS News Hour.
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