Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

Comcast Time Warner Cable Merger Could Reduce DC Lobbying

The one big area where both the efforts of Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc.. overlap is in the Washington, D.C. area zip codes where they spend heavily on lobbying and political advertising.

Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts said on Thursday that his company and Time Warner Cable do not operate in the same zip codes. But in the Washington, D.C. political arena, Comcast spent $18.7 million last year on lobbying and Time Warner Cable spent $8.3 million. This often included lobbying the same people on Capitol Hill and political advertising in magazines and newspapers that get wide circulation among the political elite and decision makers.

If approved, the merger could create a company that will look to reduce overlapping lobbying costs by selecting the lobbying firms that have the best connections to key members of Congress, and by reducing advertising to those avenues that have the best connections with Capitol hill staff and Washington policy thinkers. It may take a while to determine the best fit of all the players. And if the approval process for the $45 billion deal brings up serious issues, the combined firm may need all their players in the short-term.

During 2013, Comcast paid $18,710,000 to thirty lobbying firms. During the fourth quarter, Putala Strategies was paid $100,000; the Duberstein Group was paid $90,000; Forbes-Tate was paid $90,000; Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck was paid $90,000; FTI Government Affairs was paid $80,000; Blank Rome Government Relations was paid $80,000; Ryan MacKinnon Vasapoli & Berzok was pad $80,000; and Thorsen French Advocacy was paid $80,000; among others.

During 2013, Time Warner Cable Inc. paid $8.290,000 to thirteen lobbying firms. Capitol Tax Partners, Fierce Isakowitz & Blalock, and McBee Strategies Consulting, were each paid $60,000 during the fourth quarter of the year, among others.

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