Comcast Unleashes Army of Lobbyists to Get Merger With TWC Approved

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Not content to sit on its laurels while it waits for various agencies to scrutinize and either approve or deny its $45.2 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, Comcast has unleashed an army of lobbyists and influencers on Washington D.C.

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National Governors Association Reiterates Support for the Marketplace Fairness Action in 2014

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

With the House Judiciary Committee set to hold a hearing on "Exploring Alternative Solutions to the Internet Sales Tax Issue" soon, the National Governors Association (NGA) today released a statement reiterated its strong support for the passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act.

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Comcast and Time Warner Mobilize Lobbyists for D.C. Influence Blitz on Merger

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The day after Comcast announced its intentions to buy out Time Warner Cable, it mobilized its army of lobbyists and consultants to gauge the atmosphere in Washington D.C concerning the deal. The company has no problem lobbying lawmakers and padding their campaigns with cash to get the job done either.

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Retail Industry Leaders Association to Push for Data Privacy Online Taxes in D.C. This Year

February 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) said in a new report that it would push hard for the passage of an national Internet sales tax law and for better data privacy regulations this year. In its annual policy agenda, the trade group highlighted the issues it deemed to be of grave importance this year. A federal law to deal with online sales tax is at the top of the list. The group, which represents traditional retailers, believes that having a national sales tax collection law will levy the playing field so that online-only retailers don't have an advantage.

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Report: ESA Spent $3.9 Million in 2013 Fighting Against State and Federal Anti-Videogame Legislation, Lobbying

December 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Wall Street Journal report (membership required), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent a considerable amount of money and effort in fighting anti-videogame laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey - and in Oklahoma last year. Many of the bills have either died or are locked in legislative committees waiting for approval.

The ESA is also taking aim at a federal bill, according to records and a co-sponsor of the bill.

Former FCC Chairman: ISPs Need to Implement Data Caps

October 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Michael Powell, a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman (under President George W Bush) and now President and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), recently said that ISPs should be moving with urgency to implement data caps on their customers.

His remarks, chronicled by Multichannel News at the recent Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, were in response to a question about data caps.

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Activision Hires Prominent D.C. Lobbying Firm to Tackle Sen. Jay Rockefeller's Video Games Research Bill

September 9, 2013 - James Fudge

Activision Blizzard has hired a prominent Washington D.C.-based lobbying firm to take aim at legislation to research video games.

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Report: The ESA Spends More on Lobbying than the NRA - On Paper

July 16, 2013 -

In an extensive report on lobbying efforts in Washington, Games Industry International reveals that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spends more on lobbying efforts than the National Rifle Association - on paper, at least. But in reality a good lobbyist knows all the tricks of influence peddling through other spending that doesn't have to be reported because it isn't technically considered lobbying.

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IBM Executives to Lobby Hard for CISPA

April 15, 2013 -

According to The Hill, IBM - as a strong supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) - will send over 100 executives to Washington D.C. to hold nearly 300 meetings with lawmakers over a two-day period.

"We’re going to put our shoe leather where our mouth is," Chris Padilla, vice president of governmental affairs at IBM, told The Hill.

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ESA Hires Washington Insiders for Lobbying Efforts in D.C.

March 13, 2013 -

The Hill reports that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has hired former Capitol Hill aides Ali Amirhooshmand and Danielle Rodman. Amirhooshmand and Rodman will serve as directors of federal government affairs for the games industry lobbying organization.

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How Georgia Lawmakers Are Working to Keep its Citizens' Broadband Connections From Improving

February 13, 2013 -

If a town or city wants to have their own broadband infrastructure, they should be able to build it as long as it doesn't cost the state it is in taxpayer dollars. But there's a quiet movement - a greasing of the wheels, if you like - to put a stop to that by telcos and low-end broadband providers that rely on old infrastructure. The latest state to try and legislate limits on what towns and cities can do to improve broadband is in Georgia, where state lawmakers have introduced Georgia House Bill 282, or "the Municipal Broadband Investment Act."

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Vice-President Biden's Task Force to Meet With Advocacy Groups, Lobbyists to Discuss Gun Violence

January 9, 2013 -

Reuters is reporting that the National Rifle Association, victims of gun violence, gun safety groups, gun owners, and unnamed representatives from the film and video game industries will meet with Vice-President Joe Biden's task force set up to come up with solutions and answers in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults.

EMA 2013 Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

January 8, 2013 -

Applications for the scholarships to be awarded by the EMA Scholarship Foundation are due by March 1, 2013, the Entertainment Merchants Association announced this week. These academic scholarships will be awarded to employees of EMA-member companies and their immediate family members who plan on "undertaking undergraduate and graduate study on a full-time basis." Those selected for the scholarships will receive up to $6,000 total, which will be issued on an annual basis. More details below:

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Comcast Lobbyist Admits Using 'Internet for Poor' Program as Leverage to Influence NBC Universal-Comcast Merger

November 1, 2012 -

The lead lobbyist for Comcast freely admits that he used the promise of a new low-cost internet service for poor people as leverage against the FCC when the company was seeking to merge with NBC Universal in 2009. The news comes from a Washington Post profile DC lobbyist David Cohen, who has led Comcast's policy and lobbying efforts in the capital for over a decade.

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CCI Addresses Selection of Former RIAA Lobbyist to Review Evidence in 'Six Strikes' System

October 31, 2012 -

Last week we wrote a story about how the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) had named Stroz Friedberg to be its "impartial and independent technology expert" to review claims of copyright infringement as part of the new "Six Strikes" enforcement rules. The "Six Strikes" system was agreed upon by the MPAA, RIAA, and five major ISPs but one of the core tenets was that it would have an independent body to investigate the validity of claims of copyright infringement against file-sharers.

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NetCoalition Closing Soon, to be Replaced by The Internet Association

October 24, 2012 -

Longtime Internet trade group NetCoalition is slowly shutting down its advocacy and lobbying operations after a decade of services to the technology industry. The news comes from new termination reports during the recent lobbying quarter from the three major firms that conducted D.C. business for NetCoalition (TwinLogic Strategies, Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC and Moore Consulting). Those reports state that these groups will no longer be working for the group.

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Report: Former RIAA Lobbyist Firm Hired as Independent Technical Expert to Review 'Six Strikes' System

October 22, 2012 -

Next month the "Six Strikes" system to deal with online piracy and illegal file-sharing will be fully operational in the United States. The new rules - mutually agreed on by several major ISP's and trade groups representing intellectual property holders (the RIAA, and the MPAA) required that copyright infringement claims be investigated by an external company. This was one of the sticking points for ISPs and rightsholders seemed to happily comply.

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Entertainment Software Association of Canada Gets New CEO

October 19, 2012 -

The Entertainment Software Association of Canada announced that Jayson Hilchie is the new president and CEO of the lobbying group for the Canadian video game industry. Before taking on this new leadership role, Hilchie previously served in a similar role at Nova Scotia Business Inc., where he helped foster growth in that region's video game industry by aiding such studios as Longtail, Frontier Developments, and Radian6 establish offices in Halifax.

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Fourteen Tech Companies Form the Internet Association

September 19, 2012 -

Fourteen of the country's most recognized tech companies have banded together to lobby Washington on tech issues with the formation of a new trade group called The Internet Association. Companies joining this new group include Amazon, AOL, eBay, Expedia, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster Worldwide, Rackspace, Salesforce, TripAdvisor, Yahoo, and Zynga. The group is being led by Michael Beckerman, whose previous job was former deputy staff director of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. MIA from the list were Apple and Microsoft.

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An Analysis of Google's Kansas City Fiber Deal

September 7, 2012 -

Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai thinks that the Google Fiber in Kansas City is the cat's pajamas, calling it a model for other metropolitan areas to follow. He says the deal shows that "it is critically important that states and local communities adopt broadband-friendly policies when it comes to rights-of-way management."

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Retailers Exempt from SEC Disclosure Rule on 'Conflict Minerals'

August 24, 2012 -

While companies like Sony, Nintendo and many other are being called out for their use of "conflict minerals," a new SEC policy about disclosure of these materials being funneled out of the Democratic Republic of Congo will apparently not affect retailers.

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Zynga Spent $75K Lobbying for Online Gambling

August 16, 2012 -

Public documents unearthed by the Wall Street Journal reveal that social games maker and publisher Zynga spent right around $75,000 in lobbying fees to get its point across to lawmakers in Washington D.C. and Sacramento. So what is on the company's agenda? It wants online gambling legalized so that it can start offering players of its online social games real-world cash.

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Cybersecurtity Act Sponsors Have a War of Words with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

July 30, 2012 -

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and the co-sponsors of his Cybersecurity Act of 2012 are not pleased with the conservative lobbying group the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and are firing back at the group for what they call "mischaracterizations" about the latest revisions to the bill. More specifically, Senator Lieberman is upset over a letter that the group sent to U.S. Senators urging them not to support the bill. The group opposes the further regulations the bill would put on U.S.

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Google, Facebook Join The Internet Association

July 26, 2012 -

According to this BBC report Facebook, eBay, Google and Amazon have joined a new lobbying group that will push issues they deem important in Washington. The new lobbying group is called The Internet Association, and will open up shop in Washington D.C. in September. They will handle political and regulatory issues in the capital.

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Megaupload Founder: Vice President Joe Biden Directly Involved in Megaupload Takedown

July 5, 2012 -

Speaking to TorrentFreak, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom alleges that Vice President Joe Biden ordered the Megaupload shutdown at the behest of former Connecticut Senator (D) and current Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) President Chris Dodd. He claims that he has information from a "reliable source" that the Megaupload case and the subsequent takedown of the file storage site was a "gift to Hollywood."

South Carolina Bill Makes Municipality-Owned Broadband Harder

July 2, 2012 -

Most citizens probably think that letting a municipality or township run local broadband services would be a good idea. There's even some anecdotal evidence that having low-cost broadband in a major metropolitan city controlled by the local government keeps broadband costs down, which in turn entices businesses that use it to set up shop which leads to job creation and local commerce. But it also means that broadband companies lose out on market.

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Information Technology Industry Council Holds Party to Celebrate CISPA Passage

May 7, 2012 -

It's bad enough that Congress pushed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) through to a floor vote without much of a change to its original language or hearings from experts on what the impact of the bill would have on privacy, but this next story is downright infuriating to any citizen that believes we have a right to privacy and that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is a sacred right.

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Netflix Forms PAC

April 9, 2012 -

It looks like Netflix wants some representation in Washington D.C. and has taken steps to set up a political action committee (PAC) called "Flixpac." This will allow the Internet-based streaming entertainment company to give up to $5,000 to a candidate per election year and up to $15,000 to a political party annually.

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MPAA's Chris Dodd Extends Olive Branch to Tech Industry

February 24, 2012 -

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is trying to extend an olive branch to the tech industry after taking a beating publicly over PIPA and SOPA. MPAA President Chris Dodd told an audience on Wednesday that Hollywood is "pro-technology and pro-Internet," but warned that the fight over piracy was far from over.

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Former Congresswoman and Lobbyist Joins Google

February 23, 2012 -

Former Republican congresswoman and lobbyist Susan Molinari has been named the head of Google’s Washington office, according to an exclusive report by Politico. The new job will put the former member of Congress of the front lines of privacy policy fights and laws legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. The search engine giant is facing closer government scrutiny over its privacy policies and business practices.

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Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
 

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