The Federal Communications Commission's top official has given his approval to Comcast Corp's purchase of NBC Universal with a number of tough and narrowly tailored conditions on the deal.
Conditions for approval would address several key areas, including online video, program access and program carriage, according FCC officials who declined to be named.
The Department of Justice must also approve the deal. FCC officials said there had been full cooperation between the government agencies.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Thursday circulated an order to other commissioners that would propose approving the agreement. It says the transaction does indeed meet the so-called public interest standard, with conditions.
The other commissioners can suggest changes to the order before it is put to a vote.
Comcast and NBC Universal officials said on Wednesday they did not expect the transaction to close until January. They had initially hoped to have it close this year.
Comcast revealed its bid to buy a controlling stake in NBC Universal from General Electric more than a year ago to create a $30 billion business that would include broadcast, cable networks, movie studios and theme parks.
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch and Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)