Comcast in the ‘right place at the right time’ for Trump-era deregulation as stock soars

Comcast Center headquarters in Philadelphia. Image: Comcast
Investors are bullish on a future that they predict will include far less deregulation for telecom companies.

While environmental groups ponder in horror a deregulated future under president-elect Donald Trump, Comcast is seeing nothing but blue skies. 

Comcast stock peaked at an all-time high of $69.92 Wednesday, with investors bullish on a future that they predict will include far less deregulation for telecom companies. 

“Comcast is in the right place at the right time in the Trump rally,” MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett told Variety. “It is mostly domestic, pays relatively high taxes and should benefit from deregulation.”

Moffett has good reason to expect marked decreases in regulation under Trump, who selected Mark Jamison, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, to advise him on telecom policy. 

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Jamison published a blog for the far-right think tank last month titled, “Do we need the FCC?”

“Most of the original motivations for having an FCC have gone away,” Jamison wrote. “Telecommunications network providers and ISPs are rarely, if ever, monopolies. If there are instances where there are monopolies, it would seem overkill to have an entire federal agency dedicated to ex ante regulation of their services.”

Under an Obama administration during which the FCC and Justice Department worried about such things as individual companies gaining too much control over key infrastructural components like broadband, Comcast labored to have its way on key issues. This, of course, included its failed $45 billion bid to take over Time Warner Cable.

For his part, the man who stood on the front line of the regulatory slings and arrows during that merger review isn’t beating his chest just yet. 

“We don’t even know who the chairman is going to be for the FCC,” said Comcast senior executive VP David Cohen, speaking to the Philadelphia Business Journal last week. “We’ve had very consistent advocacy at the FCC under Democratic and Republican administrations. Generally speaking [what Comcast wants] is for a light regulatory touch not an intrusive regulatory touch... which will help encourage investment and innovation. That’s what we’ll advocate for.”