T-Mobile pledges to bring second customer experience center to NY

As the Dec. 9 trial start date inches closer, T-Mobile this month has been doling out additional promises if its merger is approved. (Monica Alleven/FierceWireless)

T-Mobile is promising more jobs and new tax revenue for Nassau County, New York, through construction of a second new customer experience center in that state, whose attorney general is leading a lawsuit to block the operator’s pending merger with Sprint.

As the Dec. 9 trial start date inches closer, T-Mobile this month has been doling out additional promises if its merger is approved, including three commitments last week aimed at families, first responders, and price sensitive consumers, in an effort to persuade or pressure more than a dozen opposing state AGs to settle.

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The newly announced Nassau County location is the fourth of T-Mobile’s five planned customer experience centers, conditioned on merger approval. It joins the previously announced locations of Rochester, NY; Overland Park, Kansas; and Kingsburg, California.  California’s state AG is also heading up the states’ opposition coalition, alongside New York.

New in the latest announcement is T-Mobile’s pledge to use union worker to construct both New York locations, and a collaboration with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau & Suffolk Counties to put a Project Labor Agreement in place for the customer experience centers. T-Mobile also said it won’t use any tax incentives from government or economic development entities to operate the facility.  

“T-Mobile’s strategy to build their latest Customer Experience Center in Nassau County using Union Labor is a signal that they value the importance of what a strong middle class means to the region,” said Matthew Aracich, president of The Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, in a statement. “Nassau County's success largely depends on companies like T-Mobile with bold business plans.”

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T-Mobile claims the facility will bring 1,000 direct local jobs as well as indirect employment from buildout of the site.

 “The New T-Mobile’s investment in Nassau County exemplifies the type of corporate economic activity we hope to attract. The CEC project will provide a meaningful economic boost for our community – creating up to 1,000 new and exciting job opportunities, while generating significant tax revenue and increasing innovation,” said Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive, in a statement. “We are pleased to collaborate with T-Mobile and look forward to working with the company to bring the benefits of the New T-Mobile to Nassau County’s 1.3 million residents.”

T-Mobile and Sprint already secured the green light for their merger with both the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, but the companies’ state battle has meant elongated delays for a final decision on the deal, and uncertainty remains.

T-Mobile managed in the last month to sway two states, Colorado and Mississippi, to drop their opposition and sign on to a settlement, in both cases apparently enticing state AGs with new promises related to 5G rollouts and additional jobs.

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When Colorado bowed out of the multi-state lawsuit in late October, New York Attorney General Letitia James said, “We remain committed to challenging this merger, and have continued to develop strong evidence that it is bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation.”

Following the trio of commitments announced Nov. 7, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Arkansas was joining eight other states in support of the DoJ settlement.

On T-Mobile’s quarterly earnings call, CEO John Legere said the company continues to have discussions with the states and maintained T-Mobile’s confidence in either reaching settlements or winning at trial, a sentiment he reiterated at last week’s Uncarrier event.

However, in an Industry Voices column, Recon Analytics’ founder and analyst Roger Entner said that T-Mobile’s recent “uncarrier’ moves show “how nervous T-Mobile is about the prospects of closing the merger.”

“While I was certain that T-Mobile would prevail in court before the announcement, I am less certain now as the promises are just too lavish and clearly aimed at swaying mostly Democratic Attorneys General,” wrote Entner.