T-Mobile and Sprint executives didn’t stay much at the Trump Hotel in DC before they announced the merger but as soon as the deal was announced their spending ramped up to 14% of their total DC hotel spend.
T-Mobile’s patronage of President Trump’s Washington hotel increased sharply after the announcement in April of its merger with Sprint, with executives spending about $195,000 at the property since then, the company told congressional Democrats in a letter last month.
Before news of the megadeal between rival companies broke on April 29, the company said, only two top officials from T-Mobile had ever stayed at Trump’s hotel, with one overnight stay each in August 2017.
But the day after the merger’s announcement, nine of T-Mobile’s top executives were scheduled to check in, The Washington Post reported in January. The Post, relying on internal Trump hotel documents, found that T-Mobile executives had reserved at least 52 nights at the hotel since the announcement.
What’s more, executives made sure they were seen.
The T-Mobile executives were very visible during their stays at the Trump hotel, wearing clothes featuring the bright magenta T-Mobile logo. At one point, Legere walked around the Trump hotel lobby posing for photos.
Heavily regulated businesses want to please their regulator. In this case the federal government had to decide whether to take steps to block the merger. There’s no reason to believe that room night and event spend would be dispositive in the government’s decision-making, but given the size of the merger there’s no reason not to kiss the ring.
I’m not sure this is much different than Delta comping elite status to Georgia politicians.