Comcast has announced plans to buy out the remaining 49 percent of NBCUniversal currently owned by GE. It will pay $16.7 billion to assume full ownership of the media conglomerate. Furthermore, Comcast is tossing in another $1.4 billion to purchase properties currently operated by NBCUniversal at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City and CNBC’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
"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 L. Roberts, Comcast's CEO. "We believe we are in a strong and unique position to continue to grow and build value in our combined company.”
Comcast began its takeover of NBCUniversal in 2009, originally acquiring 51 percent of the struggling media giant. The FCC fined Comcast $800,000 in June of last year for failing to meet certain conditions of that earlier merger.
Update: An earlier version of this story suggested that Comcast may need regulatory approval to complete the buyout, but that's not quite the case. Back when lawmakers approved the initial transaction, both the FCC and Department of Justice granted Comcast the necessary rights to eventually buy GE's remaining stake. Today's announcement signifies that the company is carrying out that plan sooner than anticipated.