Comcast and NBC Universal: Antitrust apocalypse?

Federal regulators are virtually certain to scrutinize any substantial pairing of cable leader Comcast (CMSCA) and content behemoth NBC Universal, the two media giants at the center of a frenzy of merger speculation, according to antitrust experts. If consummated, the mega-media merger would combine NBC Universal's vast stable of content with Comcast's giant digital-distribution network.

"It's virtually guaranteed that FCC [Federal Communications Commission] regulators would review this deal," Glenn Manishin, a former antitrust counsel and trial attorney at the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, told DailyFinance. "This could be a signature case for Chairman [Julius] Genachowski to demonstrate the principles he enunciated when he was confirmed." Manishin predicted any deal would also face review by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department.