When AT&T's Jim Cicconi took the FCC to task for its recommendation against the T-Mobile acquisition, the FCC swiftly responded — on Twitter, no less. Cicconi was back at it earlier today, pointing to T-Mobile's announcement of 1,900 net layoffs and suggesting they didn't have to happen if only the Commission had let the acquisition go through. Once again the FCC has responded to the company's harsh language, though with more measured, data-driven language this time:
In a short period of time, T-Mobile has re-emerged as a vibrant competitor in the mobile marketplace. Competition benefits all wireless consumers. The bottom line is that AT&T's proposal to acquire a major competitor was unprecedented in scope and the company's own confidential documents showed that the merger would have resulted in significant job losses.
While the FCC's prediction that the merger would've resulted in layoffs is supported by historical evidence about the way deals of this scope tend to go, saying that T-Mobile "has re-emerged as a vibrant competitor" might be going a bit far — the nation's number four network is still on the ropes having just announced the layoffs yesterday, has yet to turn around its subscriber numbers, and has yet to roll out even a sliver of commercial LTE. In fact, T-Mobile's long-term prospects as an independent provider of wireless broadband are as murky as ever — but it doesn't change the fact that AT&T's earlier comments were unusually aggressive considering the circumstances.