After the Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday that AT&T's merger with T-Mobile would destroy rather than create jobs, AT&T executives shot back with a statement questioning the FCC's credibility.
AT&T Senior Vice President Jim Cicconi pointed to the FCC's claim that its $4.5 billion plan to develop broadband networks would create 500,000 jobs over the next 6 years.
"Yet somehow in our merger, the FCC staff concluded that a far greater investment in broadband -- $8 billion -- plus firm commitments on job preservation and enhancement, will instead result in 'massive loss of US jobs and investment,' Cicconi said in a statement.
In a nod to the political arguments about economic stimulus, Cicconi painted the FCC conclusion as favoring government over the private sector.
"This notion, that when government spends money on broadband it creates jobs, but when a private company spends money it doesn't, is clearly wrong on its face, and raises questions about the credibility of anyone at the FCC who would make such a claim," he said.
On Tuesday FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a draft order that would refer the merger to an administrative law judge. The order is expected to be approved by the Democrat-dominated commission in a move that signals the FCC's intention to block the transfer of T-Mobile's spectrum licenses to AT&T.
"The record clearly shows that -- in no uncertain terms -- this merger would result in a massive loss of US jobs and investment," FCC officials said in a statement.