Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Senator says Comcast/NBC may have broken law

On Friday, I asked a simple question, was the naming of executives prior to an approved merger common or unusual. I never asked, was it legal. Well, today that question is being asked. "Senator Al Franken, a critic of Comcast Corp's (CMCSA.O) proposed deal for control of NBC Universal, asked the Justice Department on Monday to investigate whether the giant cable company had engaged in 'illegal collaboration' concerning its intended target." And as it has been noted, Al Franken was a long term writer/performer on SNL, an NBC TV show. So perhaps, Senator Franken has some more thoughts than others on this merger.

To my question if this pre-merger announcement was unusual, came this comment. "An antitrust expert agreed it was not unusual for executives to be named for posts before the companies get government approval to close." I simply want to understand if there is a difference in planning pre-merger privately and announcing publicly. It seems that by announcing, the current lame duck managers are left doing nothing till the merger occurs. And that work stoppage hurts NBC.

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