As T-Mobile USA Inc. tries to combine with another wireless carrier, the company has hired a team of lobbyists from a law firm that fought against its now-scrapped merger with AT&T Inc.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck notified Congress last week that it is advocating for T-Mobile on its plan to merge with MetroPCS Communications Inc., according to lobbying registration paperwork. For Dish Network Corp.-affiliated Coalition for Mobile Wireless, the law firm in 2011 lobbied against AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, which Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG owns. Brownstein received $240,000 from the group, according to congressional records.
Firm Chairman Norman Brownstein and shareholders Allen Grunes, Marc Lampkin, Alfred Mottur and Manuel Ortiz are handling the T-Mobile account. Except for Brownstein, all of the lobbyists keep offices in Washington. Brownstein is based in Denver.
Under the merger agreement announced on October 3, Deutsche Telekom shareholders would have a 74 percent stake in the combined company, which would be called T-Mobile. Deutsche Telekom would pay $1.5 billion to MetroPCS shareholders, who would own 26 percent of the company. MetroPCS and T-Mobile expect the deal to close during the first half of 2013.
Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, spent $3.9 million on federal lobbying during the first three quarters of this year, according to congressional records. For its government advocacy, T-Mobile has used its own staffers and lobbyists at about a dozen firms, including Cassidy & Associates, Quinn Gillespie & Associates and Miller & Chevalier.
MetroPCS, the fifth-largest U.S. cellphone service provider, has lobbyists, too. The Richardson, Texas-based company spent $220,000 on federal government affairs work during the first three quarters of this year. MetroPCS has deployed lobbyists from ML Strategies, Telecommunications Law Professionals and TeleMedia Policy.