With cable giant Comcast still hoping to receive a federal blessing for its bid to acquire Time Warner Cable, currently its largest rival, the lobbying blitz is in full swing to sway lawmakers and federal regulators that the mega-merger will not, as critics charge, negatively impact consumers by further monopolizing an already highly-concentrated sector.
Known for having one of the largest, most aggressive, and well-organized lobbying machines in Washington, D.C., reporting from the New York Times on Monday indicates that in addition to direct influencing attempts, Comcast is relying on an army of outside organizations, trade organizations, community groups, and individuals to speak positively about the merger.
As the Times reports:
The argument has been reinforced by a blitz of academic papers from groups like theInternational Center for Law and Economics in Portland, Ore. More endorsements have come in from elected officials like Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican of Mississippi, and Fred Crespo, a Democratic state representative in Illinois.
“The merger will not hinder competition but will bring better technology to more consumers,” Mr. Bryant said.
But there is a common element to dozens of these appeals: The senders received money from Comcast in recent years, either as a charitable donation, corporate support or a political contribution, records show.