Lobbyists strike it rich as AT&T chases T-Mobile approval

Lobbyists are moving into the same realm as professional athletes in their per-hour earnings. Ernesto Falcon, government affairs director for consumer group Public Knowledge estimated that AT&T (NYSE: T) will spend as much as $3,000 an hour lobbying to get approval for its acquisition/merger with T-Mobile.

Falcon offered the price during a webcast discussing the merger. Later, in an e-mail exchange with the National Journal, he conceded the carrier's total $6.8 million first quarter lobbying costs could include other non-merger items, but "I can't image that it can be that much in comparison to preparing an army to launch and sell the merger," he said.

AT&T spent $15.3 million lobbying in 2010. it's likely it will surpass that number this year.

For more:
- the National Journal has this story

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