House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

Summary: Some members of Congress are banding together to ask President Obama to settle the AT&T and T-Mobile merger lawsuit once and for all.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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As if the White House doesn't have enough things to deal with at the moment, a collective of 15 House Democrats are now putting pressure on the President to deal with the AT&T and T-Mobile merger.

Led by U.S. Representative Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), the group is asking President Obama to direct the Justice Department to settle the government’s lawsuit that would block the proposed acquisition, which is supposed to be decided upon quite soon.

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit last month against the $39 billion deal citing potential violations of U.S. antitrust laws.

The group of congresspeople side with AT&T's claim that the merger will create jobs at a time the country needs them desperately. Shuler explained in a separate statement:

The road to economic recovery is long, but there is an opportunity before us to immediately create jobs and spur infrastructure investments and technological innovations that will create jobs for years to come. By settling the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA we can put thousands of Americans back to work and promote economic development across the country. I urge the President to strongly consider the vast benefits this merger will have on job creation and the economy and quickly resolve any concerns the Administration may have with the proposal.

Naturally, this makes Sprint -- the loudest voice in the cry against the merger or takeover as the term now depends upon which side you're on --  quite angry.

John Taylor, manager of public affairs for Sprint, added in a statement:

Make no mistake, AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile will eliminate tens of thousand of jobs across the country. The flawed economic study embraced by AT&T and its union ignores what Wall Street investors and the Federal Government have been already been promised: that the overall investment for the combined companies will be substantially reduced if the proposed transaction closes.

At the moment, this matter is before the Courts, not Congress, and we are confident that the Department of Justice decision to prosecute this unlawful transaction is the right one for consumers, for competition, and for the economy as a whole.

Here's the full letter that Rep. Shuler sent to the President today:

September 15, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama President of the United States The White House Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On September 8th, you came before a Joint Session of Congress and asked us to focus our efforts on solving America’s jobs crisis by working to reduce unemployment, encourage private investment and promote new and innovative technologies that will drive job creation. We agree wholeheartedly, and both the Congress and the Administration should take action immediately to battle our country’s severe economic crisis.

One opportunity rests squarely before you with the proposed transaction between AT&T and T-Mobile USA. We urge the Administration to resolve expeditiously your concerns and approve the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA. The current merger proposal embraces the three job creation strategies you have already highlighted.

First, the merger will reduce unemployment. AT&T has announced plans to repatriate 5,000 jobs that are currently being performed overseas. In addition to these 5,000 jobs, a recent study (SITE) has shown that the merger will create somewhere between 55,000 and 96,000 new jobs to integrate the two networks and upgrade facilities.

Secondly, the merger will engender new private investment to deploy wireless high speed Internet access services to 97% of the U.S. population. Coverage of this magnitude will necessitate an additional $8 billion investment from AT&T over and above its current industry leading capital investments.

You recognized the economic importance of these services in your “State of the Union” address to the nation last January, when you said “within the next five years, we’ll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans.” The proposed merger will virtually achieve that goal – and do so on a faster timetable than you had proposed and without a single dime of taxpayer money.

Finally, the deployment of next generation, wireless broadband is the type of investment in new and innovative technology that will drive job creation for years to come. A recent study by Deloitte predicts that next generation wireless broadband buildout by the wireless industry will create 371,000-771,000 jobs and GDP growth between $73 billion and $151 billion by 2016. AT&T’s proposed merger commitment to make available this new technology to 98% of the nation’s population will be a key component of the industry buildout.

We recognize that the Department of Justice has intervened in the merger to ensure competitive markets and protect consumers. Addressing these concerns through a settlement agreement that ensures robust competition while preserving the job creation, capital infrastructure investment and wireless broadband deployment benefits of the merger should be the Department’s goal.

We urge you to encourage resolution of this matter in a timely fashion and appreciate your consideration of our concerns.

Sincerely,

Heath Shuler Member of Congress

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  • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

    Oh man, I thought the people at least still had the Democratic Party to fight for them. What happened to America?
    tatiGmail
    • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

      @tatiGmail
      The Democrat party has for many many years fought for nothing but their own well-being, and they don't care who they step on to get the "job" done.
      doh123
      • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

        @doh123 When you say "Democrat party" rather than "Democratic party" you betray your own affiliations. Interesting that just today the Republicans revealed their plan to "create jobs" which consists of deregulating Wall Street and other industries.

        If Rachel King had done her homework, she might have investigated and learned that Rep. Shuler has accepted a $4,000 campaign contribution from AT&T, which makes them his 15th largest contributor (I'd be shocked if the rest of the signatories didn't also receive donations).

        If doh123 had done his homework, he'd have learned that Rep. Shuler's largest contributor is the Blue Dog Democrat PAC. Blue Dog democrats are what most other sections of the country would term "Republicans".
        jgm@...
      • jgm@...: Don't knock the Blue Dogs

        @doh123
        In much of the country, they're the only competition the Republicans have.
        John L. Ries
      • @jgm

        What he chooses to call the Democrat party is irrelevant to the truth of his assertion. Democrats have controlled the house since 2006 and all branches of government with supermajorities from 2008 to 2011. In other words, they were able to pass ANY legislation they wanted without obstacle. The result: staggering debt, high unemployment and the rumblings of inflation. And don't give me this crap about it being Bush's fault; all that proves to me is you're a whining brat instead of an adult.
        baggins_z
      • @baggins_z

        And your post proves to me that you're not interested in reality. Take a look at this: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24sun4.html?_r=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24sun4.html?_r=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24sun4.html?_r=1</a></a> (or if that link is removed, Google "The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling"). Bush policies led to $5.07 trillion in unfunded spending. Obama has contributed $1.44 trillion. You can call me a whiner, but I can call you delusional.<br><br>Also, just to be clear, the Democrats had control of the House from 1/1/07 to 12/31/10 and of the Senate starting 1/1/07. In none of these times did they have a supermajority (defined by the Constitution, in multiple places, as two thirds of the total, so 67 in the Senate and 290 in the house). The last time the Democrats had a supermajority in the House was 1933-1939 and in the Senate, 1963-1967. The last time the Republicans had a supermajority in the Senate was 1907-1909, and in the House, 1921-1923.
        Cyraxote
      • Democrooks

        @doh123

        you are correct. some of you need to look at this:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/14/national-debt-deficit_n_849219.html

        As we all know the Huffington Post is a liberal news outlet. Cyraxote is very incorrect. Obama has added $5 trillion in debt in the short time he has been in office. He was not the only one to over-spend but he has taken it to an art form. Obviously it is not helping matters.

        The Democrats have had a super-majority, filibuster proof I might add, ever since the 2008 election year until fall of last year. Their power has been eroding ever since.

        We can see what happens when they have too much power. We need to take back our country from the far left next fall before our country is permanenly damaged. Just look at Europe and we can see what our future would become if we don't change our current course ! High taxation, over-regulation, government control, and all the other ridiculous policies are clearly not the answer to our problems.
        pizzaman7
      • Cyraxote: Never quote the NY Times if you're looking for the truth...

        The NY Times is known to be a democratic party defender and an advocate for anything that democrats and the president propose.<br><br>When it comes to that "study" put out by the Times, it has been discredited many times since it was put out, and it was mostly a hatchet job of the real figures. <br><br>Any one with an agenda, like the NY Times, should not be allowed to conduct a "study" and the to put it out as if it were factual. The figures and statistics can be manipulated and exaggerated, to produce the results being sought by that "agendized" and biased player.<br><br>Now, not even the democrats deny that Obama's spending is a lot worse than anything that Bush did. Whatever spending Bush did, was for 8 whole years, while Obama's spending binge all happened in the span of 2 years. And Obama has added 4 times more to the national debt, in 2 years, than Bush did in 8 years.<br><br>Furthermore, when it comes to the spending, Bush's economy was so productive that, his spending was being paid for by the economic growth which produced a huge tax revenue windfall to the government coffers. With Obama, all of his spending is not paid for, and the majority of it is being added to the national debt.
        adornoe
      • @adornoe

        OK. You go on drinking the Kool-Aid. This "study," as you call it, was based on numbers from the CBO (I'm sure they're evil as well).

        "And Obama has added 4 times more to the national debt, in 2 years, than Bush did in 8 years." Delusional. Facts? You say figures can be massaged, so go ahead an prove this one.

        "Bush's economy was so productive that, his spending was being paid for by the economic growth which produced a huge tax revenue windfall to the government coffers." Delusional. I can't even imagine the contortions of math and reality required to make this statement.
        Cyraxote
      • Cyraxote: Try to learn the real facts, and you won't sound so ignorant.

        <i>OK. You go on drinking the Kool-Aid. This "study," as you call it, was based on numbers from the CBO (I'm sure they're evil as well).</i>

        The kool-aid has been consumed by you, obviously.

        Taking numbers, no matter who they're from, is not the same as producing a credible study. Numbers can be spun and made to sound like something completely different from what the raw numbers indicate. The same numbers, when researched by others who questioned the credibility of the Times' study, were shown to mean something different from what the NY Times came up with.

        <i>"And Obama has added 4 times more to the national debt, in 2 years, than Bush did in 8 years." Delusional. Facts? You say figures can be massaged, so go ahead an prove this one.</i>

        Nobody that knows would question that Obama has, indeed, increased the national debt by about 4 times what Bush did.

        During his first two years, he increased the debt at about 3 to 4 times the rate of Bush's increases. And Bush's debt increases was for 8 years, while Obama's spending occurred in 2 year's time. The projected spending and debt under Obama, if he lasts 8 years, would put Bush's spending and debt increases to shame.

        <b>Obama's Spending Addiction</b>

        <i>President Obama does not care much about deficits -- other than worrying that big debt might matter in his re-election campaign.

        In his first three budgets, Obama borrowed nearly $5 trillion. Currently, the government is borrowing about 45 percent of everything that it spends. Obama's projected 10-year plan would add nearly $10 trillion to existing U.S. debt. This spring he proposed the largest annual deficit in U.S. peacetime history, which is why his $3.7 trillion budget for 2012 was rejected in the Senate by a 97-0 vote.</i>

        <b>Obama Shatters Spending Record for First-Year Presidents</b>

        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/24/obama-shatters-spending-record-year-presidents/

        <b>President Obama has shattered the budget record for first-year presidents -- spending nearly double what his predecessor did when he came into office and far exceeding the first-year tabs for any other U.S. president in history.

        Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/24/obama-shatters-spending-record-year-presidents/#ixzz1YdpPSyjg
        </b>

        <i>"Bush's economy was so productive that, his spending was being paid for by the economic growth which produced a huge tax revenue windfall to the government coffers." Delusional. I can't even imagine the contortions of math and reality required to make this statement. </i>

        Well, dude, if you're just going to question everything without actually finding out the facts for yourself, then you will forever remain as ignorant as you seem to be now.

        Under Bush, the economy grew at a very high pace, and did so for over 6 of his 8 years in office. The first year was actually a losing year, and which Bush spend trying to find a solution to the recession that was left behind by Clinton. but in 2001, Bush did cut taxes and started the recovery, which created tremendous growth and millions of jobs (around 8 million). The last year saw the beginning of the current recession, but, that again was caused by circumstances beyond Bush's control.

        The facts are easy to find, and you're not even attempting to find them.
        adornoe
    • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

      @tatiGmail - Politicians are no longer interested in doing what's best for their country.... only what will get them elected. This is not unique to either political party.
      tdogg219
      • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

        @tdogg219 - Ding ding ding ding, we have a winner! A fine non-Cuban cigar (because fine Cuban cigars are illegal in the US) for tdog219 for seeing the truth clearly! :)
        PollyProteus
      • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

        @tdogg219 This is why I keep advocating uniforms for politicians at every public appearance. The uniforms should be the same as NASCAR drivers wear. That we can tell, at a glance, who their Corporate Sponsors are.

        If any of them, and it would be extremely rare, had a patch for "We the people...", it would sewn on the butt of their uniform to show exactly what they think of us.
        xffcapt01
      • Hmmm.... I wonder who put those politicians in office?

        I'll give you ONE guess.
        adornoe
  • corrupted and/or idiots

    the first thing after the merger is layoffs!
    how would this create jobs or spur competition?
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

      @The Linux Geek For once I agree with you... I'm waiting for the sky to come crashing down. The layoffs would not happen for a year to year and a half but they will happen - nor is this any good at all for competition as this would give 2 companies control over the majority of the cellular market...
      athynz
      • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

        @Pete "athynz" Athens - It's actually very likely that the layoffs (as a result of duplication of effort in the work space)would happen starting within 6 months. It would be hidden behind office closings for consolidation purposes, and position relocations (that would never be refilled due to bottom line considerations).
        PollyProteus
    • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

      @The Linux Geek : Fully agree - and since when should either party be in favor of advancing anticompetetive practices, when they also end up hurting the small guys, and thus the entire economy. OTOH, deregulation that the rep.'s are pushing is also a really bad move, for the same reason. In light of these, is it any wonder the Tea Party was instigated???
      Willnott
    • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

      @The Linux Geek
      You pegged that right, just like the old saying how do you tell when a politician is lying... I would say the merger adding new jobs is the biggest con job since the saying, "I'm from the government and I am here to help you."
      geoff.schardein@...
  • RE: House Democrats rally for AT&T, T-Mobile with letter to Obama

    Last time I checked, Obama was neither a U.S. Attorney nor a U.S. Court Justice of any level. Do these 15 House Democrats propose that Obama flout the law? When did Obama change his name to Stalin?
    swmace