Challenge: AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile threatened to dominate the industry and hinder Sprint’s ability to compete and innovate. With AT&T’s powerful lobby and significant resources, most industry analysts viewed the merger as inevitable.
Approach: APCO helped to create and launch the No Takeover Project – a partnership of leading privacy and consumer rights organizations – to educate consumers about the negative impact of the merger. A website, social media, advertising and earned media drove grassroots support around the country.
Engaging with antitrust experts, academics, rural groups and advocacy organizations maximized media opportunities coinciding with congressional and state regulatory hearings. APCO also provided litigation communication support during AT&T’s legal challenges against Sprint.
Results: The No Takeover Project’s efforts persuaded elected and regulatory officials to publicly oppose the merger, and set the stage for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to file suit to block the takeover. Following the DOJ’s announcement, seven state attorneys general joined its suit, and the merger was ultimately withdrawn.
Results At A Glance:
- Record number of public comments to the Federal Communications Commission
- 10,000+ letters to Congress, attorneys general and governors
- 70,000+ Facebook supporters
- 18 radio interviews in five states
- Coverage in 25 key publications
- Earned the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil award for Public Affairs