NHMC Celebrates VICTORY as AT&T Ceases Efforts to Acquire T-Mobile
Mon, 12/19/2011 - 15:08 — mscurato
NHMC Opposed Mobile Giant's Bid as Leading to Higher Prices and Job Losses for Latinos
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Dec. 19, 2011 -- The National Hispanic Media Coalition, NHMC, celebrates today's wireless giant AT&T announcement that it is ceasing efforts to acquire T-Mobile. The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would have left two wireless carriers with nearly 80% of the mobile phone market, leading to less competition, higher prices, and fewer choices for mobile phone customers. It would have also led to job losses.
Back in May of this year, NHMC filed a formal petition to deny the merger with the Federal Communications Commission, explaining how the merger would negatively and disproportionately impact Latinos and other people of color. The National Institute for Latino Policy signed onto that petition.
The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission were charged with reviewing this transaction, each under separate legal standards. In August the Department of Justice sued to block the merger, stating "we believe the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for their mobile wireless services." In November the Federal Communications Commission designated the transaction for a hearing, indicating that it believed that the merger would not serve the public interest.
Upon the FCC's decision, AT&T withdrew its merger application, presumably hoping that the FCC would not publically release its extensive analysis of the harms of the deal. Rightfully, the FCC released its analysis anyhow. Then, the judge presiding over the Department of Justice case blasted AT&T for withdrawing its FCC application. Apparently this series of blows has led AT&T to withdraw its takeover efforts entirely.
"AT&T has finally accepted that its bid for T-Mobile has run its course. NHMC is very pleased that the FCC and the DOJ have so justly put the little guys ahead of giant corporations in their review of this merger. Latinos pay more for cell phone service than any other ethnic or racial group, paying the most on AT&T and the least on T-Mobile. In addition, because T-Mobile's workforce is nearly 50% people of color, and an estimated 20,000 T-Mobile employees would have lost their jobs as a result of this merger, Latinos and other people of color would have been disproportionately harmed. For these reasons, NHMC has worked hard over the past seven months to educate people about the harms of merger. We are ecstatic to have defeated it," comments Jessica González, NHMC's Vice President of Legal and Policy Affairs.