AT&T Rings Romney’s Bell

Photograph by Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

Randall Stephenson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc.

AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. phone company, is taking sides in the election contest between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

The company’s political action committee contributed $5,000 to Romney last month, Federal Election Commission reports show. Earlier in the year, AT&T Inc. Chairman Randall Stephenson gave $30,800 to the Republican National Committee, working to elect Romney.

Obama’s Justice Department and his Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, challenged AT&T’s proposed $39 billion merger with T-Mobile USA Inc. The Kansas-based company spent $2.5 million on lobbying in 2010.

AT&T abandoned the deal with T-Mobile on Dec. 19, after the Justice Department sued to block the transaction and the FCC moved to oppose it.

The company didn’t address Justice Department concerns about decreased competition and didn’t convince the FCC that the merger would add jobs or speed up deployment of high-speed Internet service, both agencies said at the time.

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