Last year, the company spent more than $18 million to lobby Congress on issues like cable laws and net neutrality, and donated $1.7 million to the reelection campaigns of key lawmakers, according to data from Open Secrets. That includes Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the subcommittee on communications and technology, which has jurisdiction over the FCC. In 2012 Comcast gave $854,000 to members of that subcommittee alone, according to figures dug up by Maplight. Indeed, to find a precedent for mergers resulting in a near-monopoly getting past federal protections, you don't need to look any further than Comcast's history. In 2011 it won a regulatory victory for its major merger with NBC. Comcast's sizable lobbying team includes more than one former FCC officials, one of whom was brought on to help push the NBC merger through. That time around, the lobbying began more than a year before the deal was closed, and Comcast spent some $17 million sweetening the deal for lawmakers and regulators.