Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is advising T-Mobile on its proposed merger with Sprint, the Bellevue-based telecom giant confirmed in a statement to Politico. He's providing the service through lobbying firm Turnberry Solutions established by Mike Rubino and Jason Osborne who worked with him on behalf of the Trump campaign until his departure in mid-2016. Mr. Osborne described Mr. Lewandowski's role in the company's relationship with T-Mobile as that of an "unpaid strategic adviser," having asserted he's been providing such services to the firm in a capacity of "a friend" for more than two decades. Last September, Mr. Lewandowski told Politico he has "nothing to do" with Turnberry Solutions.
T-Mobile hired Turnberry Solutions last year while it was still negotiating with Sprint over a potential tie-up, with that deal later being called off and then on again. The ultimate agreement reached by the duo comes in the form of a $26.5 billion all-stock purchase that would see T-Mobile absorb Sprint and leave the latter's parent SoftBank with a minority stake in the combined entity. T-Mobile and Sprint said they're hoping for the consolidation to be approved by the end of the first half of 2019, a timeline that some industry watchers are calling optimistic due to the growingly aggressive antitrust policies enforced by Washington.
AT&T is presently experiencing the results of that state of affairs firsthand, having seen the Justice Department attempt to block its $85.6 billion acquisition of Time Warner through a lawsuit despite the fact that the vertical merger doesn't eliminate any competition from the market. AT&T previously hired President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, having paid him $600,000 over 2017 in exchange for advice on how to communicate with the current U.S. administration as part of a move that its CEO Randall Stephenson later called "a big mistake" and pushed the company's top lobbyist to retirement over the matter. The President wasn't aware of any relationship between Mr. Cohen and AT&T, another one of his attorneys said earlier this month.