Skip to comments.AT&T to FCC over T-Mobile's job cuts: 'We told ya so'
Posted on 03/23/2012 3:05:44 PM PDT by Altariel
AT&T is using T-Mobile's recent layoffs as an excuse to bash the Federal Communications Commission, and the agency's rejection of its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.
On Friday AT&T's head of legislative affairs Jim Cicconi issued a statement offering a big fat "I told you so," to the FCC. T-Mobile recently announced it was laying off 1,900 workers in seven call centers around the country.
Cicconi said in his statement that AT&T had planned to keep those very same call centers open if it had been allowed to merge with T-Mobile. Part of AT&T's argument for the merger was that it would create jobs. The FCC said it believed that the merger would actually cause job losses.
"Rarely are a regulatory agency's predictive judgments proven so wrong so fast," Cicconi said. "But for the government's decision, centers now being closed would be staying open, workers now facing layoffs would have job guarantees, and communities facing turmoil would have security. Only a few months later, the truth of who was right is sadly obvious."
Here is AT&T's full statement:
Yesterday, T-Mobile made the sad announcement that it would be closing seven call centers, laying off thousands of workers, and that more layoff announcements may follow. Normally, we'd not comment on something like this. But I feel this is an exception for one big reason- only a few months ago AT&T promised to preserve these very same call centers and jobs if our merger was approved. We also predicted that if the merger failed, T-Mobile would be forced into major layoffs.
At that time, the current FCC not only rejected our pledges and predictions, they also questioned our credibility. The FCC argued that the merger would cost jobs, not preserve them, and that rejecting it would save jobs. In short, the FCC said they were right, we were wrong, and did so in an aggressive and adamant way.
Rarely are a regulatory agency's predictive judgments proven so wrong so fast. But for the government's decision, centers now being closed would be staying open, workers now facing layoffs would have job guarantees, and communities facing turmoil would have security. Only a few months later, the truth of who was right is sadly obvious.
So what's the lesson here? For one thing, it's a reminder of why "regulatory humility" should be more than a slogan. The FCC may consider itself an expert agency on telecom, but it is not omniscient. And when it ventures far afield from technical issues, and into judgments about employment or predictions about business decisions, it has often been wildly wrong. The other lesson is even more important, and should be sobering. It is a reminder that in government, as in life, decisions have consequences. One must approach them not as an exercise of power but instead of responsibility, because, as I learned in my years of public service, the price of a bad decision is too often paid by someone else.
I quit T-Mobile last year to move to Kentucky. They would not let me telecommute even if I agreed to fly back a couple times a month on my own dime.
Interestingly, I just got a call from a contracting firm to be a contractor for T-Mobile. They described the job, responsibilities and department. It was my old job. :-)
I’d have to move back though, and still no telecommuting. Forget it.
Now I know why I’m getting such lousy service trying to get them to fix the data functionality of the tower near my home that has been out for six months.
Don’t mess with Texas.
Indeed, the Obama administration probably would have approved the merger if AT&T hadn’t been in Texas.
As a former T-Mobile employee, my heart goes out to all those who are facing the terrifying prospect of unemployment in a sinking economy.
AT&T is blowing off a little self interest blustering however the Big Gubermint tyrants should not be dictating terms of transactions between Corporations.
I, too, have T-Mobile and love it. Had the merger gone through I would have changed companies. I hate AT&T and am sorry for the T-Mobile people who are losing their jobs. But IMO anyone that thinks AT&T would keep the T-Mobile people needs to ponder on that a bit. Some employees always get hurt when two companies merge - for instance, just ask Continental Airlines employees what they think of United and Chicago versus their old base in Houston.
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