Study: AT&T spent $40 million on ads to promote T-Mobile deal

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It paid about $9 million for television network ads, including many during professional football games, and $5 million for national cable ads.

Advertising tracking firm Competitrack provided the estimates to Public Knowledge.

Much of the advertising argued the merger would improve wireless service and create "as many as 96,000 jobs" from investments in infrastructure.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its analysis of the deal on Tuesday evening. The report disputes AT&T's claims, finding the merger would likely lead to massive layoffs as the two companies combine their operations and eliminate redundancies. The FCC staff also concluded AT&T will likely upgrade its wireless technology even without T-Mobile to keep pace with competitor Verizon.

"This information gives us a more complete picture of the vast lobbying and advertising resources AT&T has dedicated to trying to ram through this takeover,” Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, said in a news release.

AT&T did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

AT&T has withdrawn its application with the FCC to focus on the Justice Department's lawsuit, which challenges the deal on antitrust grounds. That case is set to go to trial in February.