While AT&T, FCC behave like petulant schoolchildren, 1900 people suffer job losses

Summary:Behemoths of bureaucratic bombasity bloviate at each other on the battlefield of bile.

You've got to love ginormous, impenetrable bureaucracies. Well, actually, I guess you don't. We all -- in one way or another -- suffer at the hands of vast government agencies and "too big to fail" corporations. And so, when these behemoths of bureaucratic bombasity bloviate at each other on the battlefield of bile, it's worth a small amount of our attention.

At issue is/was AT&T's desire to consume T-Mobile's customers, operations, and employees like just so much plankton. In public, T-Mobile and AT&T represented the potential merger as a marriage made in heaven.

See also: T-Mobile VP sounds off on Carrier IQ, AT&T, BlackBerry, iPhone, and eGov (exclusive interview)

And yet, it was not to be. The merger never went through.

On Thursday, ZDNet reported T-Mobile is planning to cut 1900 jobs. This was not fully unexpected, as failed mergers never play out particularly smoothly.

What was somewhat unexpected was the gloating from a senior AT&T executive, essentially an "I told you so," aimed at the Federal Communications Commission, which blocked the merger.

ZDNet's Rachel King reports on the tirade coming from Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president of External and Legislative Affairs, stating "Rarely are a regulatory agency’s predictive judgments proven so wrong so fast."

Oh, snap!

Now, AllThingsD's Ina Fried reports that the FCC has responded to AT&Ts response to T-Mobile's layoffs. First, the good news, according to the FCC: "In a short period of time, T-Mobile has re-emerged as a vibrant competitor in the mobile marketplace."

Now, the bad news (read as, it would have happened anyway, so there!): "...the company’s own confidential documents showed that the merger would have resulted in significant job losses."

Take that, AT&T! Booyah!

So what should we take from this ill-considered public airing of dirty laundry between AT&T and FCC? Sadly, 1900 people are still going to lose their jobs. In the end, that's all that really matters, isn't it?


Update: My colleague Wayne Rash says the aggregate job loss is 500, not 1900. The behavior of these two behemoths still is uncool, regardless of whether there is 3-digit or 4-digit job loss.

Topics: Government : US, AT&T, CXO, Government, IT Employment


In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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