The merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is definitely not a done deal as the FCC has ordered a hearing before a judge in February 2012. Apparently, the FCC is not convinced by AT&T’s argument that a merger would create jobs (96,000 jobs AT&T said in a TV ad), and we can understand why: usually mergers tend to lead to layoffs rather than jobs, and it’s not clear why consolidating to gigantic competitors would result in more jobs, but that’s up to AT&T to pitch this to the judge.
Media Access Project, a non-profit organization, sent us an email saying that the 96,000 number was derived from a contested study that said that the merger would lead to 96,000 “job years”, and that’s where all the difference in the world is. Even if that number was true, it can’t really be interpreted as 96,000 jobs for one year. Things just don’t work out that way. [more about the battle of the numbers here – pdf]
In the meantime, Sprint must be very pleased by this setback as it has been the main opposition to the merger from day 1.