Green Light for NBC-Vivendi Deal

22 April 2004

The US authorities have given the green light for the creation of a new media and entertainment giant.

NBC Universal is set to emerge from the $14 billion (€11.7m; £7.8m) merger between one of America’s leading television networks and Vivendi Universal.

The deal means NBC, a unit of General Electric, gets its hands on Vivendi’s entertainment assets. They include the USA and SciFi cable channels, plus the Universal film studio and theme parks.

The Peacock Channel, as the network is known, hopes everything will be finalised within weeks. Analysts say, however, there is one potential obstacle.

Media mogul Barry Diller is reluctant to sell his stake in Vivendi which he holds via InterActive Corp. Diller has been accused of trying to the stall the merger.

For its part NBC says: “We’re prepared to close the deal; on schedule, even if InterActive Corp decides to remain a minority shareholder.”

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff