Communications Workers of America (CWA) opposes the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint as it believes such a major consolidation would kill approximately 20,000 jobs and end up hurting consumers in the long term, the largest telecommunications labor union in the country said on Tuesday. The CWA publicly called for the Federal Communications Commission to block the tie-up that's expected to be officially proposed next month, stating that the agency is responsible for preventing any M&A moves that are clearly against the public interest like it claims the highly rumored deal between Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank would be.
Should federal authorities approve the merger, they would reward T-Mobile and Sprint for years of anti-consumer behavior, the CWA said, accusing the two of being responsible for millions of "crammed and slammed" customers. CWA President Chris Shelton extended the public appeal for a regulatory prevention of the deal to the Department of Justice, another federal agency that would have to approve such a merger before it's completed. The union chief claims that a consolidation of Sprint and T-Mobile would lead to numerous store closures throughout the United States and directly prompt "tens of thousands" of layoffs, stating that significant losses would also be expected in administrative units of both companies. The CWA is adamant that a merger of the third and fourth largest mobile service providers in the country would only financially benefit their owners and investors, whereas consumers and employees would all be worse off. Neither Sprint nor T-Mobile have issued a comment on the matter as of this writing and probably won't address any such concerns in the coming weeks as their tie-up has yet to be officially proposed.
T-Mobile boasted about hundreds of new retail locations it opened over the course of this year as part of its Q3 2017 financials but if the company was to merge with its closest competitor in terms of subscribers, many of their retail locations would likely be found redundant due to their close proximity to one another, which is presumably what the CWA has been referencing when it predicted massive store closures. Both T-Mobile and Sprint would be likely to save significant resources on operating costs following a hypothetical merger, according to previous predictions made by numerous industry analysts.