The nation's largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., spent $5.7 million in the first quarter to lobby the federal government to approve its takeover of NBCUniversal from General Electric Co.
The $13.5 billion deal, allowing Comcast to take a 51 percent stake in the joint venture with future plans to buy the rest, was approved and consummated in January.
The amount spent on lobbying was greater than the $3.1 million it spent in the year-ago period. Comcast first announced the deal in December 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Comcast spent $4.2 million lobbying.
Comcast also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving set-top boxes, privacy and guidelines about whether an Internet service provider such as Comcast can favor certain types of data traffic over others. The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules preventing such favoritism in a position known as "network neutrality."
In the January-March period, Comcast lobbied the House of Representatives and the Senate, according to the report filed with the House clerk's office.
Bob Okun, the former assistant secretary for legal affairs at the Education Department, and Phil Tahtakran, former counsel to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), are among those registered to lobby for Comcast.