Comcast is sparing no expense to swallow Time Warner Cable. In addition to the $45 billion it will spend to expand its waistline from coast to coast, Comcast has padded the pockets of nearly every lawmaker responsible for overseeing the telecom giant’s bid. According to a Politico investigation, the company has directed millions of dollars to lawmakers through its political action committee and donations to charitable causes and groups, and millions more on lobbying them.
Politico reports that 15 of the 18 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold a hearing on the Comcast deal on March 26th, have taken some form of contribution from Comcast. In the House Judiciary Committee, where a similar hearing will take place, 32 of the 39 members have received some kind of donation. And Comcast hasn’t been shy about its influence; a recent BusinessWeek report illustrated the company’s brazen presence on Capitol Hill, including vodka and s’more-fueled bonding sessions between congressional aides, administration officials, Olympic athletes, and Comcast’s chief lobbyist.
This behavior is completely expected. Comcast is a huge donor and lobbying spender in most years, and made a similar push in its successful bid for NBCUniversal, which was arguably more pernicious for consumers than its Time Warner buyout.
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