Snippet: This Seems Very Legal and Very Cool ☇

Shared on January 16, 2019

Jonathan O’Connell and David A. Fahrenthold for The Washington Post:

Last April, telecom giant T-Mobile announced a megadeal: a $26 billion merger with rival Sprint, which would more than double T-Mobile’s value and give it a huge new chunk of the cellphone market.

But for T-Mobile, one hurdle remained: Its deal needed approval from the Trump administration.

The next day, in Washington, staffers at the Trump International Hotel were handed a list of incoming “VIP Arrivals.” That day’s list included nine of T-Mobile’s top executives — including its chief operating officer, chief technology officer, chief strategy officer, chief financial officer and its outspoken celebrity chief executive, John Legere.

They were scheduled to stay between one and three days. But it was not their last visit.

Instead, T-Mobile executives have returned to President Trump’s hotel repeatedly since then, according to eyewitnesses and hotel documents obtained by The Washington Post.

I have mixed feelings about this news—it’s disgusting and a conflict of interest, but T-Mobile is playing by these “rules” because they really want the merger with Sprint to go through. Wouldn’t it be a disservice to shareholders not to try? Would other companies do the same if they were in this position? Still, this type of bribery shouldn’t be an option on the table, regardless of if T-Mobile opts for it.

By mid-June, seven weeks after the announcement of the merger, hotel records indicated that one T-Mobile executive was making his 10th visit to the hotel. Legere appears to have made at least four visits to the Trump hotel, walking the lobby in his T-Mobile gear. […]

“Everybody knew. You couldn’t miss it,” said Jake Loft, who was in the lobby for a regularly scheduled networking event. He spotted Legere by his outfit, which was — as usual — a walking billboard for T-Mobile. Legere wore a black-and-magenta hoodie with a T-Mobile logo over a bright-magenta T-shirt with another T-Mobile logo. “He wasn’t dressed appropriately,” Loft said.

“Always be closing.”

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