AT&T Defends Jobs Claim

AT&T defended its claim that its proposed merger with T-Mobile will create “thousands” of jobs in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission Monday evening.

Rick Kaplan, chief of the FCC’s Wireless Bureau, wrote to AT&T earlier this month, requesting more data to support the job creation estimates. He said at the time that AT&T’s previous filings had provided “almost nothing” to support its job claims.

In Monday’s filing, AT&T committed to not cut any U.S. call center jobs if the merger is approved, and they said they would bring 5,000 call center jobs to the U.S. that are currently outsourced to other countries.

The filing did not refer to AT&T’s previous estimate that the merger would create “as many as 96,000 jobs.” The company has cited that figure in previous FCC filings and in advertisements supporting the merger.

T-Mobile USA is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S., with 33.73 million customers. T-Mobile and AT&T have 9,200 stores in the U.S. combined. T-Mobile has 2,000 company-run stores and 1,100 branded stores.

While AT&T hasn’t been announced how many stores would be cut if the deal goes through, it is expected that stores will consolidate. According to analysis conducted for the WSJ by real-estate research firm CoStar Group, 41 percent of AT&T’s stores have at least a single T-Mobile store within a mile.

The FCC is currently reviewing the merger to determine if it is in the public’s interest. The Justice Department has already filed suit, arguing that the $39 billion deal would violate anti-trust law by stifling competition in the wireless market. That case is set to go to trial in February.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

Leave a Reply