AT&T has hired three former U.S.
senators, four former members of the House and dozens of staff members of
current and former legislators of both parties to push its $39 billion takeover
of T-Mobile, according to a review of lobbying records by Public Knowledge.
In addition, PK also released information
showing AT&T has spent $40 million in advertising to push the merger between
May and October. Of that total, about
$14 million was spent in June alone. The
bulk of the spending was for TV ads, much of that concentrated in Washington
and New York.
The roster of the AT&T All-Star
Lobbying Team is here.
A spreadsheet of the advertising data is
“This information gives us a more complete
picture of the vast lobbying and advertising resources AT&T has dedicated
to trying to ram through this takeover,” said Harold Feld, legal director of
Public Knowledge. “It is even more
impressive that while many members of Congress have ignored the facts and are
backing this takeover, the Justice Department and the Federal Communications
Commission have not. It is clear that
the data the DoJ and FCC have compiled on this deal will negate all of the
money AT&T has spent to mislead policymakers and the public.”
AT&T spent $12.4 million on lobbying
for the first three quarters of this year, according to AT&T lobbying
reports. The former senators working for
AT&T are John Breaux, Trent Lott and Don Nickles. Breaux is a Democrat, the others are
Republicans. Of the former House
members, the most prominent is ex-House Commerce Committee Chmn. Billy Tauzin,
who retired as a Republican after starting his career as a Democrat. The other former members are former Democrats
Jim Davis, Ron Dellums and Vic Fazio.
The data shows that AT&T spent about
$37 million for television ads. The
advertising data shows that AT&T spent $9 million on TV network ads, $5 million on national cable ads, $4 million
on ads in the Washington, D.C. market and $3 million in the New York City
This advertising information was derived
from Competitrack. While Competitrack makes every reasonable effort to
ensure that reported ad attribution, classifications and occurrence data are as
accurate as possible, several factors included in the capture and reporting of
competitive advertising are beyond Competitrack’s control and the accuracy and
completeness of that data provided cannot be guaranteed.
Public Knowledge is a Washington D.C.- based public interest group
working to defend consumer rights in the emerging digital culture. More information is available at http://www.publicknowledge.org