For Immediate Release
Proposed AT&T Merger Study: Latinos Harmed by Current Proposal Recommends Changes to Protect Employees and Consumers
Contact: Albert Jacquez, 703-447-7113, Dr. Blanca Gordo, (510) 459-4290
Download the December 2011 Paper
(Los Angeles, Ca, December 12, 2011) In a WCVI White Paper entitled, "The Economic and Social Implications for Latinos of AT&T Inc.'s Proposed Acquisition of T-Mobile - USA," Dr. Blanca Gordo of UC Berkeley and Albert Jacquez, WCVI's Senior Policy Advisor, concluded that as currently structured, the proposed merger was not in the best interest of the U.S. Latino community. They found that Latino consumers are less likely to enjoy the benefits of the proposed AT&T merger with T-Mobile and more likely to be harmed economically if the mega-merger is approved.
"Upon close inspection of the available public data on all sides of the issue, we find that if the merger were to be approved in its current configuration, Latinos would most likely see increased costs in wireless service; suffer disproportionate job losses as "efficiencies" are realized at the merged company -- especially in the low skill sectors of the business where they are concentrated; and they will continue to receive disproportionately fewer skilled job opportunities even as the merged company adds skilled jobs," said Dr. Blanca Gordo, a scholar at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues at UC Berkeley and researcher at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, Ca.
"This is the first study to look at the specific economic impact of the AT&T merger on Latinos, the nation's largest minority group, and the fastest growing consumer population for wireless and broadband service" said Albert Jacquez, the study editor and co-author. "Going forward, national public policy decisions like this one will have to take into account the potential- negative impact and benefits of any proposed policy structure for major American subgroups like Latinos. Increasingly, policies must be designed to be good for Latinos in order to be good for the nation, Jacquez said.
WCVI included a series of recommendations regarding the proposed merger. These are informed by the research and stem from deliberations of the National Latino Congreso, a consortium of hundreds of Latino organizations across the U.S. "The NLC recommendations imply significant restructuring of the merger in the interest of protecting workers and consumers, guaranteeing pricing and access for underserved communities, ensuring competition, and democratizing and diversifying the management, procurement, governance and philanthropy of the merged entity," said WCVI president Antonio Gonzalez. "We hope that all parties in the "merger" policy debate find the recommendations useful, Gonzalez concluded.
The William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) is a nonpartisan Latino-focused policy research and development organization with offices in Los Angeles and San Antonio. See www.wcvi.org for more information.
WCVI is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit policy and research organization. Founded in 1985, WCVI is focused on issues relevant to America's racial and ethnic minority groups. WCVI has offices in San Antonio, Texas and Los Angeles, CA.