AT&T had been generous with its offers -- expanding ultra-fast 4G service to the rural cellphone users the Obama administration wants to reach, keeping unionized workers on the job to appease the CWA union, even, just this morning, promising to bring 5,000 call-center jobs back from overseas.
But the Justice Department nonetheless filed suit on Wednesday to block the merger.
AT&T's $15.4 million in lobbying last year and $4.8 million in the second quarter of this year appears to have done little good. Justice said the merger would reduce competition and raise prices.
Lobbyists appear to win out either way. T-Mobile USA's lobbying costs grew from $690,000 during the first three months of this year to $1 million in the second quarter, while Sprint's doubled, from $580,000 to $1.36 million from the first to second quarter as it fought against the deal.