<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Paula Dwyer</p>&#xD; <p>It wasn't exactly an ultimatum, but it was certainly wrapped in the American flag.</p>&#xD; <p>AT&amp;T Inc. Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson yesterday offered to repatriate 5,000 overseas call-center jobs once his company's $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc. went through.</p>&#xD; <p>In addition, Stephenson said, AT&amp;T wouldn't cut any U.S.-based call-center jobs as a result of the deal.</p>&#xD; <p>Translation: If the merger doesn't happen, overseas jobs will not return stateside -- and domestic jobs might be cut.</p>&#xD; <p>"At a time when many Americans are struggling and our economy faces significant challenges, we&#x2019;re pleased that the T-Mobile merger allows us to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States and significantly increase our investment here,&#x201D; the chief executive officer's statement said.</p>&#xD; <p>Today, Stephenson got the bad news: The Department of Justice is filing suit to block the T-Mobile takeover. Justice officials say the merger, which&#xA0;would have combined the No. 2 and No. 4 mobile-phone carriers to surpass No. 1 Verizon Wireless, would have eliminated an innovator and price-cutter.</p>&#xD; <p>AT&amp;T says it will vigorously contest the matter in court, and denies it had any indication that DoJ planned to block the merger.</p>&#xD; <p>But what about that promise? If it made sense to bring thousands of call-center jobs home yesterday, it should still make sense today -- even without the T-Mobile deal. After all, many Americans continue to struggle, and the U.S. economy continues to face significant challenges. That much is true.</p>&#xD; <p>(Paula Dwyer is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board.)</p> </body> </html>