AT&T vows to bring back 5,000 call center jobs to U.S. if T-Mobile deal goes through

AT&T (NYSE:T), seeking to bolster its case for its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, said that if the deal is approved it will bring 5,000 call center jobs back to the United States that are currently outsourced overseas.

AT&T, which has faced increased scrutiny from the FCC over the deal, also said it will not cut any U.S. call center jobs from AT&T and T-Mobile that are on the companies' payrolls when the deal closes. The two companies currently have around 25,000 call center employees combined. AT&T did not disclose how many workers it employs overseas or how many would remain overseas once the 5,000 jobs are brought back.

Despite the pledge on the jobs, AT&T said it is still committed to producing synergies from the deal. AT&T has previously said it will likely cut overlapping retail and back office jobs when the deal goes through, but has not said how many jobs will be cut as a result. 

Many lawmakers in Congress, and Democrats in particular, have expressed concerns over the effect the deal will have on jobs. "Does this shore up an issue that people have?" AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in an interview with the New York Times. "Sure, I hope it does."

Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile's senior vice president of government affairs, said that AT&T's commitment "is good news for jobs in America," and that the acquisition will result in more jobs through future network expansion. Stephenson has said AT&T will spend $8 billion over three years to expand its LTE network once the deal is completed. 

AT&T's promise comes amid renewed scrutiny of the deal, which must be approved by both the FCC and the Department of Justice. The FCC restarted its "shot clock" on its review of the deal last week. The commission halted the review in July after AT&T said it would submit new economic models on which it was basing its case for the deal. However, the FCC asked AT&T to provide more details on why it wants to acquire T-Mobile, and that request occurred after an unredacted copy of a document was accidentally uploaded to the FCC website with information that indicated that AT&T had considered and rejected a plan to on its own expand its network to cover 97 percent of the U.S. market for a cost of $3.8 billion.

AT&T's commitment to expand LTE coverage to 97 percent of all Americans is one of its key selling points for the deal. Stephenson told the Times that expanding its network without T-Mobile's subscribers, spectrum and cell sites had "no business case."

For more:
- see this release
- see this NYT article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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