Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) will disclose how much corporate money it's using for political purposes, including contributions to political candidates and parties, payments to trade associations and money funneled into PACs. The disclosure is part of an agreement with one of the company's larger shareholders, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which owns almost 8 million shares or about 1 percent of outstanding shares of Comcast stock.
"It's more important than ever that shareholders continue to call for greater transparency when it comes to political spending," said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in an article by The Street.
Comcast's political savvy has been under increased scrutiny as it works through the political process to get approval of a $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).
Meanwhile, yet another player has added its voice to the debate over whether the No. 1 cable operator should be allowed to swallow the number two player. In the eyes of Silicon Valley bosses, the answer is yes: the deal makes sense and should go forward.
In an opinion column on Forbes, Carlo Guardino, CEO of the 390-member Silicon Valley Leadership Group trade organization, wrote that "the deal is good for consumers because more of them will now get faster broadband Internet service."
Silicon Valley is all about apps and services and the broadband connections needed to drive them to consumers and a bigger Comcast promises to offer a better opportunity for those services to reach a mass audience, Guardino argued. Comcast's track record with net neutrality, he said, portends an open process for independent developers looking to reach big audiences.
"In the final analysis," he concluded, "there seems to be nothing but upside in this deal. Customers will see no reduction in competition while gaining faster Internet speeds and more diverse programming choices. And U.S. leadership in the broadband Internet will be advanced."
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