Comcast buys GE's share in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion

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"Our decision to acquire GE's ownership is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects of NBCUniversal and our desire to capture future value that we hope to create for our shareholders," said Brian Roberts, Comcast's chairman and CEO.

The company said it expects to close the deal by the end of March.

Comcast's initial deal to buy 51 percent of NBCUniversal drew fire from consumer advocates, who worried the merger would consolidate too much market power in the hands of one company.

They feared that Comcast could use its control over the distribution of video content to unfairly favor NBC products. 

The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department eventually approved the deal after Comcast agreed to conditions, such as giving up its control over online video site Hulu.