Politico reports on a flurry of activity this week related to the proposed gobbling up of T-Mobile by AT&T. There have been blog posts, press conferences, press releases, letters to the FCC. AT&T says that the deal should go through because it would mean 96,000 jobs. It gets that figure from a study it commissioned saying the investment in new networks it could then launch would take seven years and create 55,000 to 96,000 "job-years" in the process. It also said no existing employees would be laid off and that 5000 call center jobs would return from overseas.
Sprint and public interest groups including Public Knowledge and Media Access Project say the 96,000 jobs claim is bogus. They point out that AT&T's claim that the deal will add up to 96,000 jobs is misleading because the EPI report actually estimates it will create between 55,000 and 96,000 "job-years," which refer to a job held for a single year. That means that up to 96,000 people could be employed for one year. If the $8 billion in investment is spread over seven years, it would create around 13,700 jobs that last seven years, but may then disappear. Sprint commissioned its own economic study showing the merger will actually result in "many thousands of lost jobs."