Feeds

Merger-hungry Comcast and Time Warner withdraw from FCC commissioner's dinner event

Cable firms step away amidst heat on conflict of interest

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable are stepping back from plans to fund a gala dinner for Mignon Clyburn, a member of the US Federal Communications Commission(FCC).

The two firms had been among the companies set to sponsor a Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner event honoring commsissioner Clyburn. The foundation, which advocates for diversity within the cable television industry, was set to present a Diversity Advocate award to Clyburn, who was appointed to the FCC in 2009.

While the event had been touted as a celebration of Clyburn's career and efforts to improve diversity in the industry, its timing and circumstances also brought about talk of a potential conflict of interest.

Comcast and Time Warner are in the midst of trying to win approval for a proposed merger valued at roughly $45bn.

With Clyburn among the commissioners set to decide whether the deal wins FCC approval, members of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) noted that the companies spending tens of thousands of dollars on an event honoring Clyburn might be a bit of a conflict of interest.

"TWC and Comcast's contributions in honor of commissioner Clyburn were made at a time when the two companies are aggressively working the levers of power to get their merger approved," the advocacy group said.

"As CREW has noted, using honorary contributions to lawmakers and regulators' favored charities to curry favor is one of the more under the radar moves in Comcast's merger playbook—a playbook that also emphasizes lobbying, campaign contributions, and winning support from third-party groups, especially those representing minorities."

Now, the companies, say, they will be opting to remove themselves from the list of sponsors and diverting their donations away from funding the dinner event.

"It's unfortunate that our long-standing sponsorship of this fundraising event dedicated to advancing diversity in cable has been mischaracterized by a few," TWC said in a statement to El Reg

"To avoid any further misunderstanding, we are re-directing our giving from the Kaitz dinner to the Foundation’s unrestricted funds which largely supports their programs." ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.