GLAAD President Resigns After Endorsing AT&T/T-Mobile Acquisition

The aggressive sales pitch that AT&T (NYSE: T) has attached to its landmark acquisition of T-Mobile claimed its first victim over the weekend. Jarrett Barrios, head of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), submitted a letter of resignation to the group over the weekend after Politico reported that the group had accepted $50,000 from AT&T in the past before endorsing the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission.

Many gay advocates had raised an eyebrow at the endorsement, wondering exactly why the group was getting involved in merger politics with a letter that appeared to draw much inspiration from AT&T’s talking points. However, GLAAD is hardly the only group not necessarily known in wireless industry circles that has come out in support of the deal. The NAACP, the Columbia Urban League, and the National Education Association were other groups identified by Politico with a history of donations from AT&T that have come out in support of a merger somewhat far afield from their usual order of business. Almost all the groups cited AT&T’s claim that it will be able to reach 97 percent of America with fast Internet connections after it secures enough spectrum through a successful acquisition of T-Mobile as the basis for their support.

AT&T has also lined up support from several prominent tech companies, such as Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and Facebook.