Obama’s merger OKs lead to huge layoffs
By JOSH KOSMAN
The White House may feel rather helpless in reducing the nation’s high unemployment rate, but it has done little to curb layoffs in one area the administration controls — approving mega-mergers.
The President’s team took office saying it would increase merger enforcement.
While it has placed more conditions on mergers, it has continued the practice of approving mega-mergers that have led to mass layoffs, said Joseph Alioto, from the Alioto law firm, which unsuccessfully sued to block the United Airlines-Continental deal.
“They have said bigger is better,” Alioto said. “When Pfizer bought Wyeth [in Oct. 2009], within two days they fired 19,500 people,” he said.
AT&T is now pursuing a $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA, which is pending Department of Justice and FCC approval, after believing in the past it did not have a decent chance at approval, a well-placed Washington, DC, source said.
It is trying to become the country’s biggest carrier, creating what is essentially a duopoly with Verizon Wireless.
A source directly involved in the proposed AT&T merger said that, if approved, it would lead to roughly 30,000 layoffs.
Placing it in perspective, there were 18,000 new jobs created last month, and economists wanted to see 10 times that amount.
Approved mergers between industry leaders that have led to thousands of layoffs also include Live Nation acquiring Ticketmaster, which reportedly laid off 20 percent of the workforce.
Department of Justice Antitrust Chief Christine Varney announced last week that she was resigning.