Posted: 08/31/11 10:49, Edited: 08/31/11 16:55
by Dave Mindeman
Sen. Al Franken may be able to claim a victory against corporate dominance today. The rumors on Wall Street are that the merger of T-Mobile and AT&T may get blocked by the Department of Justice.
Senator Franken has been the most outspoken critic of this merger:
Sen Franken: "The competitive effects of a merger of this size and scope will reverberate throughout the telecommunications sector for decades to come and will affect consumer prices, customer service, innovation, competition in handsets and the quality and quantity of network coverage. These threats are too large and too irrevocable to be prevented or alleviated by conditions."
Corporations have been consolidating their hold on new technologies and a merger of this magnitude would challenge the idea of a "competitive" environment. Senator Franken has been fighting to protect the consumer against new emerging monopolies....and in this case, he may have made his case...along with others.
This is also a jobs issue:
"I urge you to compel AT&T to publicly release its plans for job cuts in the first, second, and third years following the merger approval," wrote Franken. "Many proponents of this merger have acknowledged that short-term job losses may occur, but I think it is important for the American public to understand exactly what those numbers will be, especially given the weak state of the U.S. job market."
Mergers of this magnitude always result in massive job losses. After all, less competition means that repetitive job positions will be eliminated.
Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash, waiting to make deals of this kind so that they can keep pushing for efficiences that eliminate workforce "expenses".
If this merger has, indeed, been stopped, then it is time to thank Sen. Al Franken once again.
Note: It should be noted that the unions were in favor of this merger. I understand their position...AT&T is unionized - T-Mobile is not. And granted it might have increased union membership at some point. Probably after the shake out that would cause initial duplication to be eliminated. We had also expected that the Delta NWA merger was going to help union membership as well, but the non-union vote won out. I don't trust these mergers as far as I can spit.