Why AT&T’s Acquisition of T-Mobile is Bad For the Economy

AT&T Mobile Tower Truck

I have yet to see people talk about this, so I suppose I will.  This is my personal opinion of the matter and having been in the telecommunications industry (specifically cellular) for the past decade, I would think that this should bear at least some weight.

The entire thing reeks.  

Sorry AT&T, but there isn’t anything of this that’s good for anyone else except the T-Mobile board and investors.   AT&T first has higher pricing, so T-Mobile customers get to enjoy that luxury that’s coming soon. We won’t talk about the service record that the former actually puts out but everyone has read the reviews.   On top of that, AT&T does have a LTE strategy but contrary to belief, T-Mobile does too.  This will be a huge issue of merging the management and corporate culture in which I would assume that T-Mobile will lose out in the end.  If so, this will end poorly just like the Sprint-Nextel merger where Nextel’s management basically left to start new ventures.  I’ll let the stock price talk about where Sprint has gone with their strategy.

Worst of all though, in these times, this acquisition is entirely terrible for the economy.   In a time that people are looking for good news, this isn’t one.  I don’t care how they spin the marketing piece, one thing is for certain:

PEOPLE WILL LOSE JOBS.

Yes, that’s a fact.  In telecom, your job is always a project away from getting cut.  When jobs are duplicated, then there’s even a higher likelihood of this happening.   On top of this, not only will the actual carriers (AT&T) be cutting down the merging workforces, but there will also be a duplication of services and providers such as Alcatel-Lucent, Sony Eriksson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei, Motorola, and whomever else AT&T has dealings with.  So just as trickle-down economics effects everyone from top to bottom, this will be the same with an acquisition.

Don’t be conned by a two year migration period either.   The Verizon and Alltel acquisition is taking all of five years at least.   At the end, I would be curious as far as who will be left from the merger.  The line above will still hold true.

As a T-Mobile customer, I think the only thing you can do is voice your displeasure of this merger.   While I am not a customer, I do have many colleagues that do work at T-Mobile and I’m left wondering what they’re thinking about in terms of the future of their employment.   As a government person, I implore you to push off on this.  In good economic times, the American people can take a large scale hit across their faces.  But with places still having unemployment rates at even 12% (and there’s discrepancy on how that’s determined), I have to wonder if you really represent the American people when we’re suffering through one of the worst times in history and employment is scarce.  More so for those in telecom where I know people that have been out of work for over three years now because of how specialized our work tends to be.

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  • ADP1

    The company I work for was recently bought out by AT&T. They had us turn in our resumes with promises of job interviews that never happened. They just wanted us to stay to handle the transistion and lied about job opportunities with them. All of us that did apply for jobs with them through the normal channels, never heard back from them. Anyone working for T-Mobile should start looking for work asap.

    • Actually, T-Mobile does have one thing going for it. Because the acquisition is carrier to carrier, it has to go through government approval. Now, that’s not really saying much since most politicians will not think for people’s jobs and instead are on the take from lobbyists, but that’s just my personal opinion.

      I have little faith that the government will actually stop this transaction, although it’s the right thing to do. I believe that if economics were better, it wouldn’t be as big a deal, but at this moment in time in American history, I think it’s just digging ourselves in a hole that we don’t want to be in.

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  • Brenda Bowers

    ATT can’t seem to resist monopolies Ben.  Look back at the company’s history.  BB