August 31, 2011, 4:59 PM — Do you know who thinks suing AT&T to halt its $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA is a good idea? Our regulation-loving friends at Fox News!
Oh wait, sorry, I meant No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel, which has been fiercely and vocally opposed to the proposed merger since it was announced last March on that grounds that it would...well, just read Sprint's statement about the Department of Justice lawsuit from Vonya B. McCann, senior vice president of government affairs:
“The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country. By filing suit to block AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile, the DOJ has put consumers’ interests first. Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision – one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T’s assertions, today’s action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation.”
AT&T, of course, has argued that approving the deal will result in more jobs for Americans. And just to make sure regulators got the point, AT&T on Wednesday said it would bring back 5,000 call-center jobs to the U.S. if its merger is green-lighted. (And if it's not, AT&T's desire, if not its ability, to help the national economy by returning American jobs it previously off-shored because it helped their bottom line will diminish substantially.)
But don't worry. AT&T's not fighting this battle alone. In addition to lining up more than two dozen state governors and more than 100 city mayors, the company has support from the Communications Workers of America, the union that represents many AT&T employees:
The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to seek to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA is simply wrong.
In today’s sinking economy, where millions of Americans are looking for work, the DOJ has decided to oppose a merger that will create as many as 96,000 quality jobs. In the U.S., where too many Americans, especially in rural areas, don’t have access to the tools of Internet technology, the DOJ has determined that a plan to build out high speed wireless access to 97 percent of the country should be opposed.
The CWA ends its statement with this:
Just yesterday, AT&T announced that it would return a net 5,000 jobs to the U.S. on completion of the merger. That is the kind of corporate responsibility that more employers in the U.S. should demonstrate if we are ever to have an economy recovery.
Instead of acting to block this merger, our government should be looking to support companies that create and keep good jobs in the United States.