Desperate to Stop AT&T, Sprint Doubles Lobbying Spend

Wireless company scared of T-Mobile deal

Sprint has pulled out the checkbook in its quest to stop AT&T's proposed deal to buy T-Mobile, which would relegate Sprint to a very distant number three in the wireless business.

In the second quarter of this year, Sprint more than doubled its lobbying expenditures compared with the previous quarter, forking out $1.36 million for a first-half total of $1.9 million. That puts the wireless carrier well on pace to best the $2.52 million it spent during all of 2010.

The dollar figure underscores Sprint's hiring of several additional Washington, D.C., lobbyists to make the case that the merger should be stopped.

Despite all that new spending, Sprint was still vastly outgunned on the Hill compared with AT&T, which spent $4.8 million in the second quarter for a first-half lobbying spend of $11.6 million, a 29 percent increase over the same period last year. 

AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom is currently under review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice.