T-Mobile and Sprint are working all angles in hopes of making their proposed merger more attractive to regulators. The two companies have announced a slew of supposed benefits to the merger, as opposition to the deal continues to grow.
This week, one of the benefits being highlighted is a planned “customer experience center” (CEC) in Henrietta, New York, which will bring 1,000 new jobs to the area, the two companies said. The companies claim the CEC will make the resulting company, New T-Mobile, one of the region’s top 20 largest employers, with CEC specialists serving parts of the wider Northeast region. The companies said that “spillover effects” of New T-Mobile’s investment could also generate 500 to 600 jobs in addition to the 1,300 direct CEC employees within the region.
The proposed CEC in Henrietta follows recent announcements about new CEC locations in Kingsburg in Fresno County, California and Overland Park, Kansas. Those new centers, along with expansions of other existing centers will create 5,000 new jobs by 2021, the two companies said, adding that the combined company “will have 7,500 more customer care professionals in 2024 than the two standalone companies would employ.”
The job creation promises are the latest in a string of promises the two companies have made in pitching their merger to the Federal Communications Commission. Earlier this year, they said New T-Mobile would be able to offer a 5G network to 96% of rural American residents by 2024. T-Mobile also said the new company would be able to compete directly with cable providers in offering home broadband service using 5G fixed wireless.
In late April, the two companies extended the deadline for completing their $26.5 billion merger to July 29 as they continue to seek the regulatory approvals needed.
The merger’s core opponent, a group of wireless companies and organizations called the 4Competition Coalition, meanwhile have ramped up their lobbying efforts against the merger. The group has argued that if the merger is allowed, it would result in price increases for virtually all wireless customers, would see wholesale rates substantially increase, and would cause significant job losses, all while failing to deliver on promises to expand rural coverage.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Justice Department antitrust enforcement staff had told the companies that their planned merger was unlikely to be approved as currently structured. Executives from both companies disputed the report.