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| March 23, 2012
AT&T Still Bitter About Failed T-Mobile Merger
Do you think AT&T has gotten over its failed merger with T-Mobile? Think again. In what I can only describe as a strong dose of corporate arrogance that you usually don't see in public, AT&T's Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs, Jim Cicconi took to the company's public policy blog to offer his opinion on recent news that T-Mobile is closing seven call centers in the United States. More than 1,900 jobs will be lost when T-Mobile shuts down the centers in Allentown, Pa., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Frisco, Texas, Brownsville, Texas, Lenexa, Kan., Thornton, Colo., and Redmond, Ore. While any job losses in the United States are another sad sign of the age we're in, Cicconi can't resist the urge to chime in:
Yesterday, T-Mobile made the sad announcement that it would be closing seven call centers, laying off thousands of workers, and that more layoff announcements may follow. Normally, we'd not comment on something like this. But I feel this is an exception for one big reason– only a few months ago AT&T promised to preserve these very same call centers and jobs if our merger was approved. We also predicted that if the merger failed, T-Mobile would be forced into major layoffs.Wow. And if that wasn't enough, he has some terse words for the FCC, which was the major force behind derailing the merger:
So what's the lesson here? For one thing, it's a reminder of why "regulatory humility" should be more than a slogan. The FCC may consider itself an expert agency on telecom, but it is not omniscient. And when it ventures far afield from technical issues, and into judgments about employment or predictions about business decisions, it has often been wildly wrong.I can't say talk like that will do the company any favors when it has to deal with the FCC again for even the smallest thing. But it looks like Cicconi, and AT&T, don't care. But instead of crying and complaining about what might have been, AT&T officials need to just worry about improving service for their customers instead of treating them like second-class citizens. It's that simple. (Image via babies-cute.com)