Any coverage of the ongoing Comcast-NBC Universal merger saga wouldn't be complete without the regular reporting on just how much money Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is pouring into lobbying efforts and campaign donations. The latest is that the cable operator contributed $1.1 million to federal political candidates and political parties between December 2009 and August 2010, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. That's an increase of $417,550 from two years ago.
The details are even more interesting. Of the 99 House members and five senators who wrote the FCC this year urging the commission to support the merger, 91 of the House members and three of the senators received donations to their campaigns from Comcast. The money comes from a Comcast-run political action committee (PAC) that funnels donations from employees.
Mark Cooper, research director of the Consumer Federation of America, commented that "This full-court press on Congress is out of the ordinary" and suggested that Comcast was buying political favors. No kidding.
Comcast's take on it? A spokesperson for the company said the contributions were merely a "modest uptick" caused by more House and Senate seats up for election this year.
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek has this article
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