Alcatel and Lucent Lobbyists Are on the Job

By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, May 11, 2006

The planned merger of Paris-based Alcatel and Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent Technologies Inc. is dialing up teams of high-powered and pricey lobbyists in Washington -- partly to make sure there's no rerun of the Dubai Ports World dust-up.

The lobbyists are being deployed on the Hill and in Bush administration offices to assure every Washington official who needs to be assured that the $13 billion deal has no antitrust, national security or other issues. It was only a couple of months ago when Congress was thrown into a furor over a plan for the United Arab Emirates-based DP World to take over a company that manages terminals at six major U.S. ports. That pressured DP World to look for an American buyer for its newly acquired U.S. operations.

The merger (some describe it as an acquisition by Alcatel) has to clear European Union and U.S. regulatory hurdles, including approval from the interagency Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which scrutinizes foreign purchases of U.S. companies to ensure that they do not threaten national security.

"It's a new world for transnational transactions. You've got to have a strategy," said Reginald J. Brown , former associate counsel to President Bush and a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr .

Brown and his WilmerHale partner Jamie Gorelick -- a Defense Department general counsel and deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, and a member of the Sept. 11 commission -- are part of the bipartisan team working on behalf of Lucent, the telecom equipment company.

Besides the WilmerHale folks, working on behalf of Lucent are such powerhouse lobbyists as Patton Boggs 's Thomas H. Boggs Jr. and Jeffrey L. Turner , and the Duberstein Group 's Kenneth M. Duberstein and Michael S. Berman .

Also on board is Winning Strategies , a lobby shop with New Jersey ties, including Donna Mullins , former chief of staff to Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.); Alex DelPizzo , former legislative director to Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.); Robert Zucker , former legislative director to Rep. Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.); and Michael Merola , former deputy chief of staff to then-Sen. Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.).

Ivan A. Schlager , a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom , is coordinating the lobbying and legal teams for Alcatel and Lucent. Skadden Arps already had the lead role of advising Alcatel on the merger.

Lobbying on behalf of Alcatel is the PodestaMattoon lobby shop, including Daniel J. Mattoon, former deputy chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee; Claudia James , a former Democratic congressional staffer; Missi Tessier , a former GOP congressional staffer; Elizabeth Morra , an aide to then-House Appropriations Committee chairmen Bob Livingston (R-La.) and C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.); Kimberly Fritts , former RNC Southern political director; and Andrew Kauders , former executive director of the House Democratic Caucus.

And this doesn't even count the other legal and financial advisers not working the Hill.

Big Oil Spent $33 Million on 2005 Lobbying

Perhaps some of those higher gas prices are covering the lobbying costs of the oil companies. PoliticalMoneyLine recently ranked the lobbying costs of the top 10 oil companies, as reported in their regular filings to Congress. The top 10 spent more than $33 million on lobbying in 2005. Here are the numbers, by company:

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