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19 million reasons no one cares if you hate the Comcast-TWC merger

March 3rd, 2014 at 10:35 AM
Comcast Lobbying $19 Million

So, you think the merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is a horrible idea. You aren’t alone. However, what you think matters very little because Comcast has deployed an army of lobbyists on Capitol Hill to do its bidding and make sure its proposed TWC merger will sail through with as little resistance as possible.

Dallas News reports that Comcast spent a grand total of $18.8 million on lobbying efforts last year alone, which means it spent even more on lobbying than longtime K Street kingpins AT&T and Verizon. That figure will likely increase significantly this year because Comcast is looking to make its most important acquisition in years by gobbling up Time Warner Cable in a deal that will give it a base of around 30 million customers.

“They are ubiquitous,” Gene Kimmelman, the Justice Department’s former chief competition counsel, told Dallas News. “They really have everything covered at the highest levels of skill and experience.”

How skilled and experienced are we talking about here? By Dallas News’ count, Comcast “deploys more than 100 lobbyists, donates millions of dollars to politicians through its political action committee, gets help from charities it supports and enlists two former senators, three retired House members and a former Federal Communications Commission member.”

So while the general public may be broadly opposed to having two of the least-liked companies in America merge together, their input might not matter unless they have over $20 million at their disposal to throw around to lobby against it.

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