Despite reports, Comcast denies $35-billion NBC Universal takeover talks

Comcast, the largest cable operator in the US, denied media speculation that it had arrived at an agreement to acquire the television and film business of NBC Universalfrom General Electric  (GE) for $35 billion.

A web site report carried late yesterday by the Los Angeles-based, said that Comcast is holding talks to acquire NBC Universal from GE, and bankers of both companies had met on Tuesday in New York to thrash out finer points of the deal. had reported citing two unidentified individuals who had been informed of the discussions, that a deal had been "completed" for $35 billion.

Separately, Bloomberg, citing three people with inside information of the discussions, today said that Comcast was indeed in talks with GE for the past two months, to acquire around 50 per cent of NBC Universal, which Comcast denied in an email to the agency saying, through a spokeswoman ''While we don't comment on M&A rumours, the report that Comcast has a deal to purchase NBC Universal is inaccurate.''

The closing of the deal would also depend on Vivendi SA parting with its 20 per cent holding in NBC Universal, one of the sources told the New York-based agency reported.

NBC Universal, which is 80 per cent owned by GE and 20 per cent by French media giant Vivendi SA, runs a number of television stations including NBC, USA, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC, and Hulu as well as NBC Universal Television Group, the Universal Studios and theme parks in California, Florida, and Japan.