The LA Times has a story about how former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is working for a number of different groups to oppose Comcast's buyout of NBC Universal
. It expresses surprise from some quarters that a former chair of the main regulatory body for the media, telecom and broadcast industry would take such a high-profile role, particularly in light of his bent for loosening restrictions on mergers. But buried deep in the article, four paragraphs from the end, is the nod to Martin's past that might help explain things: he's never appeared to like cable companies
, compared to his telco buddies. In particular, he's had a few head-butting moments with Comcast: he led the push for sanctions
against it regarding its traffic-shaping policies, and he held Comcast to a completely different standard
on net neutrality than he did AT&T. But perhaps the most telling moment of Martin's past is how when it came to lifting regulations for telcos, he was all for it, while pushing for new regulations for cable companies
-- including power to limit their ability to merge. So while it may be unusual for a former FCC chairman to get involved in a case like the Comcast-NBC Universal deal, Martin's position is completely consistent with his past, even if it has brought him some unfamiliar liberal bedfellows.