According to the Wall Street Journal
, the Communications Workers of America has started attacking Sprint for its opposition to the AT&T T-Mobile merger. The CWA has launched a new website dubbed Eye On Sprint
, which attacks Sprint for opposing the deal "for its own self-interest, not the public interest." Given the deal would give Sprint a 17% market share, Sprint's motivations are fairly obvious here, and it's not clear who thought Sprint was fighting the deal out of altruism. What is clear is that AT&T targeted T-Mobile in large part to keep Sprint from buying the company, spending $39 billion for the benefit of weaker competition in the sector.
Sprint this week poked a few extra holes
in AT&T's job creation claims with a new study. However the study said nothing merger critics haven't been saying for months -- namely that AT&T's deal justifications are false. Hoping to flip this logic on its head, the new CWA website accused all
merger critics of repeatedly lying. About what? About the fact that the deal (like all deals of this type) will come with a very real human cost:
IF YOU REPEAT A MADE-UP FACT OVER AND OVER AGAIN, WILL REASONABLE PEOPLE BELIEVE IT?
That’s what Sprint and the critics of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger are hoping. They’ve manufactured a fact, claiming that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will lead to 20,000 lay-offs of T-Mobile workers. And they are repeating it again and again. Certainly, with unemployment hovering at a stubborn nine percent, the impact of the proposed merger on jobs today and in the future should be a top concern of policymakers. The problem is: the critics are just plan wrong. The proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger is good for workers and good for job creation.
The critique is amusing, given AT&T's use of groups ranging from the Michigan Milk Producers Association
to the Louisiana Ballooning Foundation
to parrot entirely fabricated deal benefits. AT&T's chorus of parrots includes the CWA -- who recently repeated AT&T's claims that the deal would create "100,000 new jobs
" and billions in new network investment. In reality, as we recently noted in detail
, the deal will result in the reduction of overall network investment, and a likely net loss in jobs due to the elimination of redundant positions and many retail outlets. Many of those workers won't be union, so the CWA apparently couldn't care less. The CWA's signing off on a bad deal for one reason: the struggling union wants the 20,000 new dues paying members they'll get from T-Mobile.
The union talks a lot about the need to improve U.S. broadband speeds
, yet they're signing off on a deal that gives AT&T and Verizon a massive 80% market share, significantly reduces the incentive to operate and upgrade cutting-edge networks, and could result in the death of several already-precariously positioned carriers (LightSquared, Clearwire, Sprint, MetroPCS, Leap). This is the same organization that just last week wanted public sympathy in their fight against Verizon, a company they declared was the worst sort of villain. Now they're portraying Sprint as a villain simply for fighting for survival.