AT&T made some rather harsh and poorly-timed comments on Friday regarding T-Mobile’s announcement to close a handful of call centers and cutting 1,900 jobs. AT&T basically said all the layoffs could have been avoided had the FCC let it take over T-Mobile. Many people would be inclined to disagree including the FCC.
The FCC gave AllThingsD a statement regarding AT&T’s comments.
“In a short period of time, T-Mobile has re-emerged as a vibrant competitor in the mobile marketplace. Competition benefits all wireless consumers. The bottom line is that AT&T’s proposal to acquire a major competitor was unprecedented in scope and the company’s own confidential documents showed that the merger would have resulted in significant job losses.”
The FCC was obviously more restrained in its comments. It makes a good point as well. It’s reasonable to believe there would have been a lot of redundancies if AT&T were allowed to absorb T-Mobile. As far as T-Mobile being a “vibrant competitor”, the FCC may have spoken prematurely. T-Mobile has been able to start plans on building a LTE network thanks to assets acquired in the AT&T breakup, but it’s still struggling to keep customers from leaving to other networks in pursuit of the iPhone. If T-Mobile can work out some sort of deal with Apple, it will immediately see a resurgence in subscriber numbers.