CWA: The Facts Support AT&T/T-Mobile Merger
Read CWA's filing at http://cwa-union.org/att-tmobilecomments
Washington, D.C. June 20, 2011 – The Communications Workers of America today filed additional comments with the Federal Communications Commission on the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. CWA reiterated why the merger is good for American consumers and good for American workers.
CWA’s points include:
An AT&T/T-Mobile Merger is good for consumers and workers.
- The merger will dramatically expand high-speed broadband buildout to underserved areas, bringing coverage with all its advantages to 97% of the United States.
- This merger will create jobs. AT&T has committed to increase capital expenditures by at least $8 billion over the next seven years, which would create as many as 96,000 good, family-supporting jobs.
- The merger will substantially ease network congestion, resulting in fewer dropped calls and faster connection speeds throughout the country.
- The merger will benefit workers in the wireless industry as AT&T is the only wireless company with a unionized workforce and a long tradition of non-interference with respect to the organizing employees.
T-Mobile is going to be sold one way or another.
- Deutsche Telekom indicated multiple times that it was simply no longer willing to commit new capital to T-Mobile.
- T-Mobile lacks the resources necessary to develop the 4G LTE high-speed broadband network the company would need to remain competitive.
- The only other suitor for T-Mobile was Sprint, and a Sprint/T-Mobile deal could not work for many reasons, network incompatibility not the least of them. For example, Sprint is still integrating Nextel and would struggle to make the capital expenditures necessary to fully use T-Mobile’s assets.
Sprint is a bad player when it comes to treating workers.
- Sprint has a long history of hostility to union organizing and trampling workers’ rights.
- Sprint has an extensive record of outsourcing and off-shoring American jobs.
T-Mobile can’t survive on its own.
- “T-Mobile’s parent Deutsche Telekom is not in a position to finance the necessary large scale investments in the U.S. for T-Mobile to remain competitive.” – Phillipp Humm, CEO, T-Mobile USA, in Senate testimony, May 11, 2011.
- The FCC and independent analysts agree the cost of a fourth generation network would be closer to $10 billion. T-Mobile USA, either with Deutsche Telekom or standing alone, does not have the resources for this type of capital expenditure.
- Finally, CWA believes it is important that the FCC follow past precedent and employ same product and geographic market definition it has used in recent wireless mergers; the local market for mobile telephony/broadband services. Further, it should upgrade its spectrum screen to reflect recent developments in the wireless industry.