Time Warner Cable Suitor Comcast to Disclose Political Spending

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Comcast (CMCSA) has agreed to a shareholder agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund to disclose its political spending made with corporate funds. The settlement is the 21st for the state common fund and comes as the cable giant lobbies Washington for its takeover of competitor Time Warner Cable (TWC).

Comcast Can't Use Its Best Argument for Time Warner Cable Deal

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the settlement on Monday. The New York State Common fund currently owns 7,885,555 shares, worth just under $400 million, the Comptroller said. That stake represents less than 1% of Comcast's outstanding shares.

"As one of Comcast's largest shareholders, we applaud the company for agreeing to disclose corporate political spending," DiNapoli said, while adding that the Fund will continue to ask that companies disclose their corporate spending on political influence.

"In light of the recent Supreme Court decisions governing political contributions, it's more important than ever that shareholders continue to call for greater transparency when it comes to political spending," DiNapoli said.

Citizens United

Monday's agreement will mean Comcast will disclose all money used for electoral political purposes, including contributions to political candidates and parties, as well as payments to trade associations and political action committees, or PAC's.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Citizens United case, the New York State Common Retirement Fund said it has filed 52 shareholder resolutions on political spending disclosures. The fund also said on Monday it has reached agreements with 21 companies including Qualcomm (QCOM), Marriott International (MAR), PepsiCo (PEP) and Southwest Airlines (LUV).

In 2014 alone, the fund has reached settlements with Comcast, CF Industries (CF) and Peabody Energy (BTU).

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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