At a hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that was being closely watched for how mega-mergers will be viewed in the coming Trump administration, members of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that oversees regulatory agencies that decide on mergers said the deal merited tough scrutiny. The chief executives of AT&T and Time Warner were grilled at the hearing about a range of issues related to the deal.
But in a change from previous comments, lawmakers also questioned whether traditional ways of evaluating mergers are growing outdated as Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Google become massive media platforms that threaten the television industry. Their tone was more circumspect than those that immediately followed the deal’s announcement, when lawmakers had been more critical.
Comcast is being forced to pay the largest fine the FCC has ever levied against a cable operator. Its offense: Charging customers for services and equipment they didn't ask for.
The company agreed to pay a $2.3 million civil penalty and to submit to a "compliance plan," in which regulators will monitor Comcast for the next five years to ensure it cleans up its act.