This will be heartbreaking for many of you to hear, but it seems that Comcast and Time Warner Cable spent a total of $32 million lobbying the government to sign off on their merger and they still didn’t get what they wanted. In a big Politico report called “Collapse of Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger shows limits of lobbying,” we learn that Comcast and TWC pulled out all the stops to get their merger approved but that it still wasn’t enough.
This is a change for Comcast, which is used to getting what it wants from the government. However, this time there was not just antipathy to the merger from citizens and activists, but also from rival corporations as well that didn’t want to see Comcast amass that much power over America’s broadband infrastructure.
Politico’s report does hint that Comcast’s lobbying kept criticism from many lawmakers over the deal to a minimum but it’s not like any politician went out of their way to tell us how great the deal would be. If public opinion polls are any indication, doing so would have been about as politically popular as declaring your support for universal forced castration.
In the end, it seems money can only help you sell a deal so long as there’s a shred of good evidence that people will benefit from it. In the case of the Comcast-TWC merger, $32 million worth of lipstick couldn’t pretty that pig up nearly enough.