And FCC Fires Back At AT&T – Says AT&T Would Have Cut Jobs No Matter What


Earlier today we told you how AT&T essentially told the FCC “We told you so,” after T-Mobile closed one of its call centers resulting in the loss of at least 1,900 jobs. AT&T pointed out that this wouldn’t have been an issue had they taken T-Mobile under their wing as planned.

Well, the FCC — never one to back down from a fight — responded to AT&T’s somewhat pompous statement saying,

“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.”

Oh, snap! AT&T just got served. But seriously. This is no laughing matter. I can’t think of anything more disheartening in the world than losing your job. Anyone who’s gone though it can attest. But what do you guys think? Despite AT&T’s promise to not cut call center jobs, do you think those 1,900 people would have really been better off had the merger gone though? Or was AT&T just blowing hot air?


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Lol

  2. Thank God for fcc

  3. AT&T saying they would keep all the call centers just defies all logic.There would have to have been job losses under AT&T. There would have been too much duplication at some point. Someone at some level wouldn’t stand for it and the duplicates would be gone.

    And as someone tried to say in the last one something about how AT&T had said they would close overseas call centers and brought those jobs back to US shores…  why wait for a merger to do it? Why not just do it anyway if you’re really about that? Oh wait! Because they aren’t!

  4. T-Mobile needs to buy at&t

    1. Ummmm, that’s practically the same thing. End result would still be a duopoly. 

    2. T-Mobile’s US subsidiary, the one you swear allegiance to, is trying to sell itself, per instructions from the German parent company

      1. False, T-Mobile USA has never wanted to be sold and is not engaged in trying to sell itself. That is all DT

        1. Read the financial pages, not the blogs; they don’t want to be in the US anymore

          1. The US doesnt want to be in the US anymore? Right… You make 0 sense. Maybe you should read the “financial pages” more clearly, or at least read reliable sources. It is DT that doesnt want to be in the US anymore.

          2. You’re an idiot.  They are the second most profitable branch in the world to their parent company.  

            You can buy anything in this world for the right price and at&t hit it with the $39 billion plus they were going to let Deutche Telekom own 8% of them.  People seem to forget that.

            T-Mobile isn’t going anywhere any time soon.  The most likely thing to happen if at all is an IPO where DT would own the majority of the shares allowing other firms to invest in them.

  5. Losing your job sucks, no doubt there.  However, I think T-Mobile has done an awesome job about easing that pain.  They offered to relocate alot of the jobs that are affected by the closures, and are offering job placement and even training through a third party agency for those that are not being relocated.  Good Move.

    Secondly, AT&T’s offer to the FCC to bring jobs back from overseas was definitely only a bargaining chip.  They were offering a net job growth, not that there would be no lost jobs.  They would fire a lot of people from one dept, to remove the duplicate positions, but hire other people in another, transfer jobs from overseas, and I’m pretty sure they would count the temporary jobs created by the network build out for LTE in there too.

    1. Since when did Capitalism become a dirty word?  Since when did it become politically unpopular for a company to preserve itself?

      Better to fire a few employee’s (most of who don’t even have GED’s or HS diploma’s) than the entire company goes under and everyone gets the boot in bankruptcy court

      1. Ok.. Here’s the thing.. Your comment about call center employees not having GED’s or HS diplomas is based upon your idea that you are superior in some way.. I work in a call center.. I don’t know of anybody like that.. In fact many are college grads, or are concurrently going to college and working at the center.. It’s a decent paying job, and I have good benefits.. I get people who call in, expecting me to know less than they do, because they are too smart to work in a lowly call center.. These “smart” people are a treat to work with, as I solve the problems they were too smart to figure out themselves.. That is the real job satisfaction in a difficult job.. nothing better than turning around an angry or “superior” customer.. It may not stick, but it’s good at the time.

        1.  You’re right dbcad7, wastry is an idiot.

      2. and its “most of WHOM”…seriously get off your high horse, you’re clearly not that smart yourself

      3. screw companies. when you’re 66 years old like me let’s see how warm and wet you feel about companies.

      4. since IT with it’s personal assistant “greed” brought down the world economy…

  6. Most of these job losses were at T-Mobile call centers, which T-Mobile is consolidating (closing some). AT&T would have closed them ALL (or at least almost all) – they’ve already got their own call centers.

    1. I agree there would’ve been cuts but I doubt that the existing ones could handle the addition of another 40+ million customers.

      1.  Well, 1) I don’t think they really care about customer service, especially with one more competitor gone, and 2) as a T-Mobile customer I would have jumped ship to Verizon, and I don’t think I’m the only one, so 40+ million is an upper bound, but I do see where they might end up with only a 90% or so reduction in jobs rather than 100%.

        1. You have no facts to back up just how many people would stay or leave. Just because you would you’re attributing that same feeling to millions of other people, which isn’t a valid argument. 

          1.  I am sure most people wouldn’t leave. I am also sure AT&T would not leave the same number of call centers open. More people would have ended up out of work.

  7. As I said in the other thread, At&t would eventually cut those jobs and more.

    1. Because a slow death is preferable to a few quick cuts that will return a company to profitability

  8. I love Advance Wars!!

  9. AT&T is really in hot water these days; now they’re accused of fraud.,2817,2402045,00.asp

  10. I believe att would have cut as many if not more all said and done


  12. I totally agree with the FCC, I have been with T-Mobile for over 10 years and would have left AT&T in a heartbeat, there’s a reason the T-mobile customers aren’t with AT&T to begin with. Bottom line many T-Mobile customers would have not stayed with AT&T and AT&T would have no choice but to let the employees go

  13. Chris your pictures make me laugh so hard every time

    1. If only I was better at Photoshop, you’d be DYING xD

  14. Considering that during the “confusing” period after announcing the merger but before it was nixed, T-Mobile lost quite a few subscribers just from the possibility of becoming AT&T, but has not had continuing losses after the merger was nixed, I’d say that if it had been approved, AT&T would have to have similar if not deeper cuts into their workforce at this point.

  15. Verizon just laid off people 3,175 employees from its centers; well, a few will be relocated.

    Blizzard just laid off 600 peeps the other month and then the very ext day its parent company reported a good financial quarter…

    So the fact that T-Mobile is being called out, is silly, as they’re pretty much in the same boat as any large corporation — EVIL with a focus on profit, but a lesser evil than AT&T by far, which is why I use their service.

  16. I find it funny that people who aren’t even Tmobile customers are providing their advice about what is best for us Tmobile users. If Tmobile hadn’t taken the chance with the G1 there would be no Android. AT& T is ripping their customers off so shut the F up.

  17. With a good web interface, call centers are not needed.  The closing of call centers is probably more an indication of better online account management features.  I can now change handsets, add phones and change call plans without ever talking to a person…that is a convenience to me and saves a cell company money.  That typically results in lower rates to me…all a good thing. Having a call center employee is like having to pay someone to pump my gas…something that slows me down and costs me more.
    Now my opinions about the failed deal
    First: T-Mobile is a great provider, but is in serious trouble.  Their limited 3G footprint is a huge problem and the reason I left.  I loved their HSPA+, but when I was in rural areas, I was frustrated with glacial-speed edge.  Great call quality but for the price I expect more of a footprint.
    Second: ATT shot themselves in the foot in several ways.  Their plan prices are higher than T-Mobile and they could never prove they would save existing T-Mobile customers money.  They also admitted that they didn’t need T-Mobile spectrum to expand their network capabilities.  It appeared they were simply trying to eliminate a competitor.  The FCC’s decision was almost a slam dunk.
    Overall, no one won in that failed deal.  T-Mobile got a chunk of money, but they keep losing customers.  What good is it to have half a network and a fraction (and shrinking) of the customers?

    1. I agree that better web sites make for more efficient self service. But if you think for one second that it will result in lower rates then I’ve got a bridge to nowhere in Alaska that I would like to sell to you. Att rates will only continue to rise and the savings made from better customer service will not affect the ratio of increase at all.

  18. Everybody hates att, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon. Where are you going to go now? Get over it people!

  19. I think you accidentally a T in the title. 

  20. Actually, David, the opposite seemed to have happened. If you look at the numbers following the merger announcement, T-Mobile had a much smaller loss than previous quarters. Im not saying its because people decided to stay, but saying that more people left after the merger announcement is completely false. Numbers go up and down, though, and sometimes its hard to know why. But I think a very small amount of people left for a competitor when they heard AT&T is buying T-Mobile. And those who did leave? They might be back. Well, unless they’re happy where they’re at, which is prolly, what, Sprint? They’re the only other low cost option. Verizon service costs are comparable to AT&T so those who left prolly didn’t go there.

  21. Judging by how our government’s lack of understanding job creation, I’m actually going to do the rare thing here and side with AT&T’s explanation.  FCC isn’t a subject matter expert in jobs.  Really, FCC – “In a short period of time, T-Mobile has re-emerged as a vibrant competitor in the mobile marketplace.”  What have they done that makes them all of a sudden a vibrant competitor?  That remains to be seen now that they’ve been handed the bandwidth spectrum from AT&T.  I personally feel that unless someone takes T-Mo over, they won’t survive on their own.  They should hope for a foreign investor.

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