Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck on Thursday notified Congress that it is lobbying on the potential AT&T/T-Mobile USA merger for an organization affiliated with Dish Network.
According to a lobbying disclosure, the Coalition for Mobile Wireless Competition has concerns about AT&T's planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. The report lists Englewood, Colo.-based Dish Network as the only organization associated with the group. The Coalition for Mobile Wireless Competition has the same address as Brownstein's Washington office.
Brownstein Shareholder Makan Delrahim said Dish Network isn’t the only member of the coalition, which was formed about two months ago. But he declined to identify the other members or disclose how many there are, saying they fear retaliation.
In response to questions on the coalition, Dish Network spokesman Aaron Johnson referred The National Law Journal to a filing his company submitted in May to the Federal Communications Commission on the proposed merger. The filing says the planned acquisition would "harm consumers by gravely reducing competition in many sectors of the communications market, in part by raising barriers to entry for potential new competitors."
Dish Network spent $240,000 from April 1 to June 30 on its Washington advocacy, according to the company’s most recent quarterly lobbying report. The disclosure lists the potential union of the telecommunications companies as one of Dish Network’s lobbying issues.
The company met with the FCC in July, expressing its opposition to the proposed merger, according to a letter to the FCC from Dish Network Corporate Counsel Alison Minea. She wrote in the letter that uniting the companies “would harm competition and consumers by, among other things, potentially discouraging DISH Network from entering the market to provide mobile broadband.”
The proposed merger is under evaluation by the FCC and the Justice Department. AT&T says it expects the completion of the review by the end of the first quarter of 2012.
Updated at 5:14 p.m.