Posted by: Jim Cicconi on May 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm
There’s a lot of activity at the FCC today as interested parties continue to weigh in on our merger with T-Mobile. To be sure, the usual suspects opposing the transaction are working to create the impression their support is growing. It’s not. In fact, the opposite is true. Today, we’ll begin to see evidence of the strong public support our merger has generated – and it is perhaps the broadest, deepest range of public interest support ever filed at the FCC in support of any transaction.
Let’s keep in mind that the standard under which the FCC operates is whether a merger, in this case our merger with T-Mobile, is in the public interest. The answer from elected officials and respected state and national organizations from every walk of life is a resounding yes.
Perhaps no one understands the concept of the public interest better than the top elected official in each state. And so far the governors of 14 states, ranging from Maine to Colorado, from Michigan to Louisiana, have filed in support of our deal. So have a small but growing number of mayors representing cities from Topeka to Atlanta.
No one is better attuned to the needs of workers or the importance of job creation than organized labor. And so far the AFL-CIO and five major unions with a total membership of over 15 million workers have filed in support of our deal. Support for the transaction is also coming from some of the most respected organizations in America, including iconic names like the NAACP and LULAC. We have strong support from those representing people with disabilities and the disadvantaged. Groups representing rural interests, including The National Grange, the Cattlemen’s Association, state chapters of the Farm Bureau, and the Rural Health Association are backing our deal. The Sierra Club has publicly recognized the benefits of our transaction, and high tech industry leaders like Microsoft, Corning, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group have all made clear their endorsements.
The support I’ve noted is just the tip of the iceberg, and filings will continue throughout the reply comment period. But as of this afternoon, there have been over 300 filings in support of the merger, and we expect many more as the public interest benefits of this transaction become even more widely recognized. By any standard, this outpouring of support from respected organizations and elected officials is massive and unprecedented.
In contrast, the opposition is unsurprising, underwhelming, and unpersuasive. This is especially true of opposition from some of our wireless industry competitors who are confusing the public interest with their own particular corporate interest. Even if combined with those few groups who routinely oppose every merger, this opposition pales in comparison with the scale of public interest support we are already starting to see… and which we have every reason to feel will continue to grow.