Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc. and Charter Communications Inc. have contracted nearly a dozen former Federal Communications Commission officials to help persuade the agency to approve their $45.2 billion merger, according to FCC filings.This isn't new. Most companies hire ex-FCC and ex-FTC folk with the excuse that they are experts in navigating the FCC system.
[S]ome of the entities involved in this transaction raise eyebrows because of their recent departure from government,Yeah, we get it. You can't get this thing through based on any honest criteria so you'll buy the regulators. If you've been following this story you already know that Comcast is spending outrageous amounts of money to make this merger happen.
Comcast’s lobbying roster was already one of the largest in the city; the company had 33 firms working on its behalf at the start of the year. Since the announcement, that total has increased to 40 firms.Here's a short play I wrote: Comcast wants to merge with NBC Universal. Former FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker votes to approve the merger. Four months later she's hired by Comcast. The list of people that Comcast has hired since the announcement of this merger goes on and on and on.
Time Warner Cable has contracted Matthew Brill, a former senior legal advisor to Abernathy. Brill is now a partner at Latham and Watkins LLP.I will save you the whole list. You can read about them in pretty much any one of the links provided in this article. I'm feeling a little doom and gloom about the whole thing. Maybe someone will give me some confidence in this process.
Time Warner Cable Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Cristina Pauze, was FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell's legal advisor until 2008.
Steven Teplitz, a former attorney in the FCC Common Carrier Bureau during the 1990s, is now a senior vice president of government relations for Time Warner Cable.
Charter Executive Vice President Catherine Bohigian was formerly a senior advisor to then-FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.
In addition, Charter Communications has contracted Samuel Feder, a former FCC general counsel from 2008 to 2008. Feder is now a partner at Jenner and Block.
“This confirms that FCC-land is a warm pond of familiarity,” said Susan Crawford, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama for science, technology, and innovation policy. “Luckily for the public interest, the dedicated civil servants actually responsible for looking at this mega-deal will be fact-driven and reality-based,”Sounds good to me!