Uptick in lobbying spending for merging companies facing antitrust scrutiny

Sen. Garden stores near me Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the attorney general-designate, received more than $80,000 over the course of his career from AT&T, whose merger with Time Warner is being reviewed by the Justice Department. Top mlb players 2016 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Quite a few corporations floated multi-billion dollar mergers in 2016, including ag leaders Monsanto and Bayer, telecom titans AT&T and Time Warner and fantasy sports giants FanDuel and Draft Kings.

And with such marriages — which undergo scrutiny by antitrust officials and often Congress, a routine part of any merger process — often comes an uptick in lobbying efforts, as the companies leave as little to chance as possible in getting their version of the story out.

“Typically when companies are set to merge, there are two phases of lobbying taking place: First, reach out to their home state members [of Congress] as a courtesy so they aren’t blindsided,” said Wiley Rein LLP partner Caleb Burns. Big boy softball “And two, if the merger review starts to go south, the companies can ask supportive members to help bring action to bear to encourage the approval.”

(Any communication with the Justice Department or Federal Trade Commission, the two bodies that review mergers for antitrust problems, generally isn’t considered lobbying, but part of the investigation; other agencies that oversee an industry may be involved in that review as well, such as the Federal Communications Commission with telecom combos.)

This crop of mergers comes with an unprecedented asterisk: The level of contact President Donald Trump seems to be having with the corporations whose deals are under review. Minecraft fence Trump, as president-elect, met with CEOs of Monsanto, Bayer and AT&T, tweeted approvingly about Bayer’s pledge to create jobs and criticized AT&T’s proposed deal with Time Warner during his campaign. Minor league baseball teams Former and current antitrust officials expressed concerns about how Trump’s activity would impact the traditionally independent investigations.

Last September, German chemical giant Bayer AG sealed a deal to buy seed titan Monsanto for a mere $66 billion. Masonry supply While Monsanto shareholders approved the merger last month, there’s still the Justice Department to deal with; its lengthy antitrust review isn’t expected to wrap up till the end of 2017. Rock landscaping ideas Bayer also agreed to pay $2 million if the deal doesn’t clear, giving it all the more reason to push for approval.

Bayer AG spent $260,000 more in 2016 compared to the previous year, for a total of nearly $8 million. Us basketball olympic team 2016 The pharmaceutical firm said it lobbied on “ various issues related to proposed corporate acquisition.” Additionally, Bayer listed the 21st Century Cures Act, food labeling and pesticide regulation bills as issues it was weighing in on. Justbats The pharma company last spent this much on lobbying in 2009.

Monsanto saw a similar uptick, with a six percent increase from 2015; it spent $4.6 million last year. Monsanto didn’t mention the merger on any of its reports, but it had some other pretty big issues on its plate: insecticide regulations, the Clean Air Act and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP.)

Before the election, Trump didn’t approve of AT&T and Time Warner‘s $85 billion merger, saying “It’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” He has since turned down the rhetoric, saying “he hasn’t seen any of the facts” of the merger to Axios (though he still accuses CNN, a subsidiary of Time Warner, of trafficking in “fake news”).

AT&T, ranked No. High school softball field dimensions 9 on the biggest lobbying spenders list this year, spent $16.4 million in 2016, up $1.5 million from 2015. American football online games It was the biggest lobbying year since 2012, when the telecom company spent $17.5 million in an effort to get approval for its ultimately failed attempt to merge with T-Mobile. Hitting drills volleyball The company’s latest filing mentioned “ monitor[ing] antitrust, arbitration, compensation and corporate governance issues.”

Time Warner bumped its lobbying efforts up an additional $182,000 from 2015 to $2.9 million. Football games today on tv It finished the year strong with $756,000, the most it spent in any quarter of 2016. Ncaa basketball tournament tv schedule It listed “Issues related to the proposed AT&T-Time Warner transaction” in its report. Cornerstone natural resources That’s still not as much as the $3.3 million Time Warner spent in 2014, the year Comcast attempted to buy up the cable company. Francesca battistelli concert (Comcast spent $17 million that year.) Comcast withdrew its offer when the Department of Justice threatened to file an antitrust suit.

At least these four companies will be seeing a friendly fact at DOJ. Fantasy football sleepers and busts All four of their PACs have contributed to Sen. High pitch sound app and Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions‘ (R-Ala.) campaign committee and leadership PAC over the course of his career. Georgia softball camp AT&T ranks as the 9th largest donor, giving $81,700 since Sessions was elected to the Senate in 1996. Pitch angle More than 90 percent of those funds came from the company’s PAC.

The daily fantasy sports industry had quite a busy year. Pitch bend vst New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought a lawsuit against two leading companies, FanDuel and DraftKings, arguing their games were actually illegal gambling. What does pitching woo mean In the end, thanks at least in part to intense lobbying, New York Gov. Front yard ideas Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill legalizing fantasy sports in August.

However, these industry leaders. Fantasy football 2016 projections suffered financial losses as a result of fighting their legal and legislative battles, and in November FanDuel and DraftKings announced their merger — out of necessity. Drip drop lyrics The feds will be taking a close look, as the two make up about 80 percent of the fantasy sports market. Spring training 2016 Despite their pinched bottom lines, both sought to invest more in lobbying last year than it 2015, which was the first year they filed lobbying reports: DraftKings increased its spending by 256 percent, while FanDuel’s outlays jumped 186 percent. Commercial landscaping FanDuel and DraftKings both helpfully reported they were lobbying on “Issues related to fantasy sports.”

The Department of Justice sued in June to block Anthem‘s $54.2 billion purchase of Cigna and Aetna‘s $37 billion offer for Humana. Synthetic fiber used in towels Last week a judge agreed with DOJ on the Aetna-Humana deal, halting the merger. Carls patio Many observers expect the same results when it comes to the Anthem-Cigna deal.

“These mergers would restrict competition for health insurance products sold in markets across the country and would give tremendous power over the nation’s health insurance industry to just three large companies,” said former Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the release.

Since both duos announced their deals in July 2015, we also compared data from the second quarter of that year (April through June) and third quarter (July through September.) Three of the four increased their spending during those months, Anthem by 115 percent, Cigna by 13 percent and Aetna by 35 percent, while Humana stayed constant with $220,000 both quarters.

Looking at the change between 2014, the year leading up to the mergers, and 2015, when they were announced, Anthem was the only company to decrease spending, by five percent.