AT&T And DoJ Tried Negotiations But Talks Flopped Leading To Suit

A court filing has revealed that unsuccessful settlement talks were held between telecommunications giant AT&T and the U.S. Justice department over the bid by the former to acquire Time Warner. According to the filing the two parties had engaged in settlement negotiations in good faith but they were unable to reach an agreement.

The Justice Department is suing to have the second largest mobile carrier in the United States prevented from acquiring the media giant at a price of $85 billion over concerns that it could lead to anti-competitive behavior and hamper development of internet video streaming.

Anti-competitive behavior

Per the filing a trial running for around 15 days will kick off next year on March 19. Last month Time Warner and AT&T had offered to make use of licensing terms which prevent the former’s Turner unit from withdrawing its content from any distributor for a period of seven years following the closure of the deal in the event that the negotiations reached an impasse.

The revelation of the unsuccessful negotiations between the Justice Department and AT&T comes in the wake of the telecommunications giant reaching an agreement with approximately 21,000 employees. The agreement will see the pay of the workers improved and the number two wireless carrier in the United States will make a commitment to cut down on outsourcing jobs overseas.

Communications Workers of America

The deal with the CWA – Communications Workers of America will cover employees of the wireless carrier in 36 states. Workers will get a 10% increase in their pay over a period of four years. By committing to reduce overseas outsourcing the workers will benefit from increase job security especially at the call centers.

“… this is a breakthrough contract for our workers, especially in retail. We were able to address a lot of issues, not just pay but also the monitoring and discipline of employees, outsourcing and job security,” CWA District One vice president, Dennis Trainor, said.

Retail workers for AT&T will see them earn approximately $19.20 per hour on average and this is 74% higher compared to what the average retail worker earns in the United States. This will see the retail workers get a weekly raise of approximately $86.

Since 2015 AT&T has inked 32 labor agreements covering around 165,000 employees. CWA has been negotiating with AT&T for eleven months now after the expiration of the prior contract in February this year. Seven months ago there was a three-day strike which forced the telecommunications giant to shut down its retail stores.

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