AT&T/T-Mobile merger opponents silent in wake of T-Mobile USA layoffs

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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AT&T senior executive Jim Cicconi’s rebuke on Friday of the FCC’s opposition to last year’s proposed merger with T-Mobile USA was met only with silence from the agency and other major political players who opposed the deal.

The $39 billion deal between AT&T and T-Mobile USA’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, died in December 2011 after heavy opposition by many who feared the deal was one step closer towards the creation of a national telecom duopoly.

Cicconi, AT&T’s Senior Executive Vice President for Legislative and External Affairs, contended in a post on the company’s blog that the 1,900 jobs eliminated at T-Mobile USA would have been saved had the merger been approved. Several major political players who opposed the deal, however, have yet to publicly respond to Cicconi in the wake of T-Mobile’s cuts.

Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden — whose own state lost 360 jobs due to the closing of T-Mobile’s call center in the Redmond, Oregon — opposed the deal, as did Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken. Neither senator’s office returned The Daily Caller’s request for comment Friday.

Advocacy groups who opposed the merger also remained silent. Free Press declined TheDC’s request for comment, and neither Public Knowledge, nor Media Access Project, returned TheDC’s request for comment.

Previously, when asked for comment by TheDC about the announcement, the Justice Department declined comment. The FCC did not return TheDC’s request for comment, either.

T-Mobile, the No. 4 mobile carrier in the U.S., announced the layoffs Thursday. The company said that 1,900 total call center jobs would be eliminated, with more expected to follow, affecting seven cities across the U.S.: Allentown, Penn.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kan.; Thornton, Col. and Redmond, Ore.

The call center closings are part of a company restructuring to preserve cash for future network infrastructure investment. Deutsche Telekom announced in February that it would invest $4 billion into modernization efforts of T-Mobile USA’s mobile network.

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Josh Peterson