In separate letters delivered to merger partners Comcast and NBC Universal on Monday, the FCC asked both companies to answer additional questions on a variety of topics that include the companies’ agreements with content providers and advertisers and proposed rate changes. The agency’s request follows up on an initial inquiry, dated May 21, in which the FCC asked Comcast and NBCU to provide further information on their planned $28 billion union. Although both companies replied to that initial request on July 6, merger opponents throughout the multichannel video program distribution industry have continued to press their case before the FCC that a combined Comcast- NBCU would have the incentive to withhold popular “must-have” programming from competitors or to hike carriage rates for such programming. Among the 30 items it requested from Comcast, the FCC has asked for copies of Comcast’s two most recent carriage agreements with competing cable multiple system operators for networks in which Comcast holds a financial interest. Comcast has also been asked to supply (1) details on all agreements, letters, correspondence, and similar documents by which the company has made commitments with third parties in connection with the NBCU transaction, (2) a list of competitive cable “overbuilders” in all of its markets, and (3) information on its broadband deployment plans in both served and unserved areas. In addition to providing copies of its two most recent carriage agreements for co-owned cable networks, NBCU has been asked to provide, among other things, (1) information on per-subscriber advertising revenues, and (2) a list of its top 20 advertisers for online and overthe- air broadcast services as well as the annual revenues of each listed advertiser. The companies must submit their responses to the FCC by October 18. Although a Comcast spokesman stressed that the merger remains on track for closing by the end of this year, it is possible that the FCC will not rule on the transaction until early 2011.