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Did Comcast’s Moving Oscar Ad Create Sympathy for Proposed Merger?

Comcast’s moving ad during the Oscars might have been an attempt to sweeten its image with the public in the face of controversy over its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, according to the New York Post.

The ad featured a little girl named Emily who was born blind and who talked about what she imagines when asked to visualize the Wizard of Oz. The voiceover featured the well-loved Oscar winner, Robert Redford.

Some noted the “coincidence” that a sentimental ad, seen by an estimated 40 million people was put out by Comcast, which is proposing to take over Time Warner Cable for $45 million in a deal that would give the combined company control over 57% of the nation’s broadband services. Comcast paid $4 million for the ad during the Oscars.

Comcast is one of the largest corporate lobbyists in Washington, and while some felt that the FCC and the Department of Justice would give the merger a pass, new questions are arising as the approval is taking a lot of time to be granted. One source told the New York Post, “This is going to be a very close call. The process is really slowing.”

The anti-trust division has interviewed CEO Brian Roberts and President David Cohen. The Capital Forum reported that Cohen was deposed , but a source close to Comcast denied he had given sworn testimony.

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