Maybe this will help make sense of the massive pending merger between America’s two largest Internet service providers, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
According to nonprofit watchdog group Maplight, Comcast gave $853,525 to members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology between 2001 and 2012. That’s the subsection of Congress that oversees the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the gatekeeper agency that will decide whether the two firms can merge.
The move to combine these two ISPs has been roundly condemned by consumer and Internet freedom advocates, given that the two companies—which serve roughly a third of Americans—are widely derided for their slow connection speeds and frustrating customer service.
Tom Wheeler, chair of the FCC and a former cable industry lobbyist, has yet to weigh in on the proposed merger.
Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, also hasn’t commented. Walden reportedly received $53,000 from Comcast during that same 10-year period.
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