T-Mobile's Third-Quarter Lobbying Boost
In the third quarter of 2011, with its proposed merger with AT&T facing opposition from the Justice Department and suspicion  from the FCC, T-Mobile spent $1,070,910 in lobbying the federal government, according to recently released disclosure reports . This represents a 6.5 percent increase from the second quarter of 2011, and a whopping 43 percent increase from the same period in 2010 .
Media Matters documented  the multimillion-dollar lobbying blitz AT&T and T-Mobile initiated in April, after the proposed merger of the two companies was announced. In the second quarter of 2011, the two telecom giants spent nearly $6 million on lobbying and deployed a phalanx of former Congressmen and Congressional staffers to push for the merger.
Despite the crush of cash and influence, in late August the Justice Department sued to block the merger , citing anti-competitive concerns. The move sparked a backlash  against the DOJ from conservatives  and the right-wing media , and a countervailing burst of support from progressive advocacy groups.
T-Mobile, while not having the clout of AT&T, is still bringing significant resources to bear and spending lots of money to secure approval of the merger. In the first three quarters of 2011, T-Mobile spent $2,766,100 on lobbying -- well more than the $1,737,175 the company had spent at the same point in 2010.
AT&T's third-quarter lobbying expenditures have not yet been made public. Even when they are released, however, they will give an incomplete reckoning of how much AT&T has spent to gain support for the T-Mobile deal. A new report  from the Center For Public Integrity detailed the "unusual" support AT&T is receiving from small charitable organizations that received substantial donations from AT&T.