Comcast adds lobbyists for merger fight

 

Comcast has hired a new team of high-powered lobbyists as it fights for approval of its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

The company added The Normandy Group to its advocacy roster last month, according to recently filed lobbying disclosure forms, and will have former Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) working on its behalf.

It’s the second lobby shop Comcast has hired since announcing its intention to merge with Time Warner in February, and it brings the company’s total tally of lobby firms to 35, forms filed with the Senate indicate.

The Normandy Group will “work on Comcast's pending acquisition of Time Warner Cable and related Congressional hearing on the transaction,” according to the paperwork.

Also on the account are Krista Stark, who served as legislative director to Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), when he was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Louis Dupart, a veteran of Capitol Hill, the Defense Department and the CIA.

Dupart’s bio on the firm’s website says he “has had multiple successes at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission on major anti-trust reviews for DuPont, Google, People Soft and other companies.”

The Normandy Group, however, isn’t the only firm that disclosed helping Comcast with its merger ambitions.

A handful of Comcast’s other outside counsel have already filed their first quarter reports, which are due later this month, and the records show that Hannegan Landau Poersch Advocacy and American Continental Group also explicitly list the Time Warner Cable talks.

Comcast spent more than $18.7 million on lobbying last year, a figure that stands to grow as regulators and lawmakers place it under more scrutiny.

But, if the company needs to pull from the other firms it has on retainer, it has several heavy hitters to help it along, including Capitol Counsel, The Nickles Group, Forbes-Tate, Blank Rome Government Relations, DLA Piper and Lincoln Policy Group, which is headed by former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.).