Comcast_lures_former_FCC_aides_to_lobby_for_NBC_merger[1] -...

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WORKSHOP ABOUT STAFF INVESTIGATIONS ILAB BLOG CONNECTED Comcast lures former FCC aides to lobby for NBC merger BY JOHN DUNBAR May 26, 2010 ShareThis This story was published jointly with Politico . Comcast Corp. has been snapping up ex-government officials to help win approval of its proposed takeover of NBC Universal Inc. , including former congressmen and congressional staff members, ex-government antitrust lawyers and former aides to the Federal Communication Commission’s most impassioned critics of media mergers. In all, 78 former government employees registered as Comcast lobbyists in the final quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, according to an analysis by the Investigative Reporting Workshop. The most common background among those identified in the Workshop investigation is congressional staff, but there are also four former members of Congress: Reps. Robert Walker (R-Pa.) , who is referred to as “Congressman Walker” on his firm’s website; William Gray(D-Pa.) ; Chip Pickering (R- Mis s .) , and former Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) . Meanwhile, General Electric, which stands to make $6.5 billion from selling its stake in NBC Universal, has hired former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo. , along with 18 other ex-government officials, to lobby for the deal, according to a review of records. Walker and Gephardt list the transaction as a specific lobbying issue while the other three ex-members of Congress give vague descriptions of their activity that could include the merger. The Comcast/NBC deal will require approval from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division , which studies its effect on competition, as well as the FCC, which must approve the transfer of GE’s broadcast licenses and is concerned with the public interest. In its army of lobbyists, Comcast now employs former staff from both. At the FCC, commissioner Michael Copps and former commissioner Jonathan Adelstein have been the most visible and vocal opponents of relaxing limits on media ownership. Comcast has hired two of their former aides: Jordan Goldstein, who worked for Copps; and Rudy Brioche, who worked for Adelstein. Rick Chessen, another former aide to Copps, now
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This note was uploaded on 09/07/2011 for the course BUS 682 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.

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Comcast_lures_former_FCC_aides_to_lobby_for_NBC_merger[1] -...

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