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AT&T Inc
After being broken up in the mid-1980s in a landmark antitrust case, this telecommunications icon re-formed in 2005, and became the nation’s largest phone company when SBC Communications bought AT&T Corp. for $16 billion. As SBC, the company led the fight to allow the Baby Bells to enter the long-distance market, where they hope to offer profitable broadband Internet services. Cable and telecom companies have been fighting over the issue for several years and recent legislation in the House would allow national cable franchises to be awarded to the telecoms. The cable industry complains this would allow telecoms to unfairly cherry-pick rich suburbs. The telecoms say that allowing states to issue all television licenses will drive down rates for consumers and add hundreds of channel choices. AT&T now has more than 49 million access lines in service. Cingular, which bought AT&T Wireless for $14 billion in 2004 and was part of SBC, is now in AT&T’s fold. Cingular is the leading US wireless carrier, with more than 54 million subscribers. And AT&T’s growth continues. In 2006, AT&T agreed to buy southern Baby Bell BellSouth in a deal valued at more than $65 billion.

 

Election Cycle

Total Contributions

Dems

Repubs

% to Dems

% to Repubs

2006

$2,919,227

$1,018,000

$1,890,638

35%

65%

2004

$3,630,735

$1,423,862

$2,203,993

39%

61%

2002

$7,160,118

$3,232,712

$3,925,056

45%

55%

2000

$9,002,852

$3,816,111

$5,172,039

42%

57%

1998

$3,693,627

$1,471,315

$2,215,498

40%

60%

1996

$4,014,195

$1,629,580

$2,379,163

41%

59%

1994

$2,424,864

$1,363,590

$1,059,574

56%

44%

1992

$2,222,579

$1,308,897

$902,717

59%

41%

1990

$1,928,908

$1,077,778

$851,095

56%

44%

TOTAL

$38,076,096

$16,859,866

$21,160,743

44%

56%

METHODOLOGY: The numbers on this page are based on contributions of $200 or more from PACs and individuals to federal candidates and from PAC, individual and soft money donors to political parties, as reported to the Federal Election Commission. While election cycles are shown in charts as 1996, 1998, 2000 etc. they actually represent two-year periods. For example, the 2002 election cycle runs from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2002. Data for the current election cycle was released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, May 16, 2005.

Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics.
NOTE: Soft money contributions were not publicly disclosed until the 1991-92 election cycle and are not allowed in the 2003-2004 cycle.