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Workers group argues against T-Mobile/Sprint merger

The CWA says that over 28,000 jobs will be lost if the deal goes through

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Since T-Mobile and Sprint announced plans for their merger in April, there has been an incredible amount of public backlash.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) -- a union that represents 700,000 workers -- is the latest group to disparage the merger, arguing that over 28,000 jobs would be lost should the deal go through as it stands. The group came to that figure by performing analyses based on location data for all retailers involved in the merger.

According to the group, 24,000 retail jobs would be lost due to overlapping on the prepaid and postpaid sides of both T-Mobile and Sprint. Another 4,500 jobs at the Sprint and T-Mobile headquarters would be lost because of duplicated positions.

“The proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger is against the public interest,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “The merger would result in massive job losses totaling more than 28,000, while offering no countervailing benefits for the public. Unless the companies make a binding commitment not to eliminate jobs in their proposed merger, to stop violating federal labor laws, and to fully respect workers’ rights, the FCC should not approve this merger.”

Additionally, the CWA has argued that the merger “raises serious competitive concerns,” as the competition between T-Mobile and Sprint would no longer exist. Both T-Mobile and Sprint are able to exist as standalone operations, and both are looking to improve their networks and roll out their own 5G networks.

Moreover, the group says that both companies “have made no showing that the merged firm would have either the incentive or ability to provide hallmark 5G services outside of densely populated areas.”

Previous backlash

The CWA joins a list of T-Mobile-Sprint merger adversaries.

After announcing the deal at the end of April, democratic lawmakers -- led by Amy Kloubach and Elizabeth Warren -- expressed their reservations. The senators’ were mainly concerned with the effect the deal would have on consumers -- particularly where prices are concerned.

“T-Mobile and Sprint have led the way in offering wireless products and service options that are more appealing to lower-income consumers, including no contract plans, prepaid and no credit check plans, and unlimited, text, voice, and data plans,” the senators wrote.

The lawmakers sent a letter to the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to express their thoughts on the areas of the merger they considered problematic.

“As more than three-quarters of American adults now own smartphones, including many who depend on these devices for their primary connection to the internet, an anticompetitive acquisition in the wireless market could result in higher prices for American consumers or force some people to forego their internet connection altogether,” the letter noted.

A look at the merger

In April, T-Mobile made a formal bid to acquire Sprint for $26 million -- all in stocks.

At the time, there were questions as to whether the Department of Justice would allow the merger, or whether antitrust regulators would stop the deal, as it would reduce the number of wireless providers from four to three.

However, T-Mobile has been nothing but positive since announcing the deal, touting the merger as a win for both the companies and consumers.

“The new company will be able to light up a broad and deep 5G network faster than either company could separately,” T-Mobile said in its press release. “T-Mobile deployed nationwide LTE twice as fast as Verizon and three times faster than AT&T, and the combined company is positioned to do the same in 5G with deep spectrum assets and network capacity.”

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