From Seattle: AT&T Merger Not Great

It appears the AT&T Death Star moving into orbit around Bellevue, WA has caused some people to look around and notice a few things. Like how the housing market might be affected once the two companies “consolidate resources”. (AKA lay a bunch of people off…most likely the lowest paid ones.)  The basic idea being that the loss of jobs will have a secondary on real estate in the area around Factoria. Less people working means less folks paying rent or buying a home. They also won’t necessarily chose to stay in Seattle for their next job.

Tim Ellis over at The Seattle Bubble, a real state blog, has this to say: “…Considering that their headquarters spans at least six large buildings in Factoria, I think it’s safe to say that it’s not just a story that interests me. There are a lot of good jobs that are going to be affected by this acquisition.”   Indeed there are. In a way, I feel like that’s also a big part of the fight. Sure, I don’t want to be dragged back into a contract with AT&T. I ran away from them, and don’t want to be their customer ever again.  

But I also would hate to lose the awesome in person and over the phone customer service I get with T-Mobile. And it would be gone once “our company” was fully digested by the Death Star. There’s some whispering around the web that, in spite of their promise to keep a “significant presence” in the Seattle area, the jobs at T-Mo HQ will be lost, and everything moved to Texas. *sigh*

This article by Jon Talton over at the Seattle Times says one thing I agree with. That “AT&T gets to grow through acqusition, instead of organically by actually serving customers well.” (He must know a few former customers.) He has another point that I’m not certain rings true. Mr. Talton seems to see this particular merger as part and parcel of problems in Seattle business culture that make it hard to grow and keep dynamic, big name companies. I would have to disagree. Where T-Mo lives was not a pre-condition to being eaten by AT&T, more an “accident of birth”, if you will.

T-Mobile’s HQ could have been on the dark side of the moon and AT&T still would have bought them out rather than improve their own customer service.

One thing he brought up that I did not know is that T-Mobile had been on the 24/7 Wall St Blog’s List of 10 Brands that will disappear in 2011. The qualifications for making the list are that “…we expect the brand to be gone by the end of 2011, or for its parent to be sold or go into chapter 11”. That’s all I have for right now. Enjoy their list!