The Federal Communications Commission is requesting additional information from Comcast Corp. and NBC Universal as it reviews the cable operator’s plan to acquire a controlling stake in the media company, reports the Associated Press. The FCC on Oct. 4 sent letters to Comcast and NBC Universal asking questions about both companies’ businesses. Among other things, regulators are seeking details about Comcast’s distribution agreements for several popular cable channels that it already owns. The FCC also wants details about Comcast’s current channel lineups and about the thinking behind Comcast’s decisions on which programming to carry. From NBC Universal, the FCC is asking for details about existing agreements with a number of cable, satellite, and phone companies to carry popular NBC Universal channels. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, is seeking FCC and Justice Department approval to acquire a 51 percent interest in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. The combination has raised worries among satellite companies, rival cable operators, and other subscription video providers that Comcast would use its control of NBC Universal to push up prices for must-have programming or even withhold it altogether. In addition, regulators are studying the likely impact of the deal on the nascent market for online video, which has the potential to threaten Comcast’s core cable business. Public interest groups are worried that Comcast could try to stifle the market’s growth by withholding programming from the internet or forcing consumers to subscribe to cable to get access to content online…

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Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura