AT&T, T-Mobile Deal to Cost $100 Million in Lobbying?

AT&T knows it’s likely to get regulators to clear its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. Eventually. But the company also knows that it won’t be easy. Nor will it be cheap.

If last year’s deal between Comcast and NBC Universal was any indication, AT&T will need to spend at least as much, if not more, than the $100 million Comcast reportedly spent lobbying Congress and regulators.

AT&T already has a good head start. The company is one of the heaviest hitters in the nation’s capital, spending $15.4 million on lobbying in 2010, according to Roughly 100 lobbyists work for the telecom giant.

While some analysts speculated Monday about how tough it could be to get approval for the deal, AT&T was bullish about its prospects for success.

“We studied the law; we studied the facts; we considered every aspect and concluded this deal can and would be approved,” Wayne Watts, AT&T’s general counsel, said during a conference call Monday morning.