(Washington, D.C) — Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act, introduced today, would put an end to anticompetitive mergers that destroy jobs, put downward pressure on workers’ wages, and leave the communities where we live and work to pick up the pieces. It sends a strong message that the interests of workers and communities must at long last be taken seriously in reviewing mergers.
“Workers have long been shut out of conversations about mergers that would directly impact their livelihoods and they have been disregarded by regulators in the review process,” said Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton. “Shareholders and executives see big gains, while workers pay the price of consolidation. Mega mergers not only often result in mass layoffs, but an unfair concentration of market power that limits workers’ choices for employment, leads to wage suppression across industries, and hinders workers’ ability to exercise their rights. In particular, when workers at these companies do not have union representation, they are not able to have a seat at the table and do not have a meaningful opportunity to fight back to protect their jobs and their communities.”
CWA and over a dozen consumer, labor, and right-to-repair groups are raising these exact concerns with the FTC, urging the agency to closely scrutinize Microsoft’s intention to buy video game developer Activision Blizzard for its impact on both workers and consumers, as this merger would make Microsoft the third-largest game developer in the world, holding the keys to Xbox and its Game Pass subscription service.
Activision Blizzard employees are facing rampant surveillance, intimidation, and union-busting tactics in response to their efforts to change a culture of worker abuse and discrimination. Sen. Warren’s bill would ensure the merger’s impact on these workers is prioritized by federal regulators and add a necessary check on corporate mergers by directing agencies to review and reject potential deals that would harm workers’ ability to secure better futures, as Activision workers are trying to do.
CWA has long sought to secure greater protections for workers in mega mergers. In 2018, CWA began raising concerns about the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. The Department of Justice under President Donald Trump dismissed those concerns and approved the merger in 2020, choosing to believe T-Mobile’s executives’ unsubstantiated pledge that they would add 11,000 new jobs by 2024. Workers and consumers have paid the price. Instead of creating jobs, the merger resulted in a massive number of job cuts and expected price increases for consumers.
About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.