As the Senate Judiciary Committee reviews Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable for potential violations of antitrust laws, a new report has surfaced suggesting that every member of the Senate panel has received campaign donations from the company in question.
According to Ars Technica, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., received $35,000 from Comcast’s PAC between 2009 and 2014, while Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., received $32,500 and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, received $30,000.
Even the most vocal anti-Comcast committee member, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has received a donation from the corporation in the past. According to the Los Angeles Times, a Comcast PAC donated $5,000 to Franken’s recount fund during his contested election a few years ago. Still, the senator and former Saturday Night Live member was a vocal critic of the Comcast-NBC deal that was going on around that time.
Because of his brother’s involvement with drafting the acquisition deal, Schumer, the individual who has received the most donations from Comcast-related PACs, recently recused himself from the judiciary review.
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Opponents of the merger are wary of what will happen to prices once a dominating company controls the majority of cable and telecommunications services. Comcast continues to argue its side of the case, one that's likely supported by the $18.8 million it reportedly spent on lobbying last year.