Kingburg will get a promised T-Mobile call center, bringing approximately new 1,000 jobs, under a settlement announced today by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
The settlement resolves the state’s legal challenge to the company’s $26.5 billion purchase of Sprint., which it argued was unlawful and would lead to reduced competition and increased prices for consumers.
California joined a coalition of 14 other states to block the merger, but a federal judge in February ruled it could proceed.
Becerra said Wednesday that the state will not appeal the ruling following an agreement that includes terms to protect low-income subscribers, extends access to underserved communities, protects current T-Mobile and Sprint employees, and create jobs in California.
Kingsburg Call Center Promises 1,000 Jobs
In April 2019, T-Mobile announced that it had chosen the Kingsburg area for a “Customer Experience Center.” The company said positions at the call center would pay salaries averaging at least 50% more than the average in Fresno County.
Following the federal court ruling allowing the merger, Kingsburg City Manager Alexander Henderson said talks with T-Mobile were ongoing but no location for the call center had yet been identified.
“Most of our discussions have been somewhat hypothetical based upon different sites that they’ve been scouting,” he said at the time.
“I think they’ve kept a lot of their options open so that they could move quickly if and when the merger was finalized.”
The agreement announced Wednesday also commits the company to offer current employees of T-Mobile and Sprint in California with “substantially similar employment” and requires total T-Mobile jobs in the state to match or exceed the number current employed by both companies.
“(T)oday’s settlement locks in new jobs and protections for vulnerable consumers, and it extends access to telecom services for our most underserved and rural communities,” Becerra said in a news release.
T-Mobile Expects Deal to Close by April 1
The merger is still pending court approval of a separate agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice as well as an OK from California’s Public Utilities Commission.
T-Mobile has said that it expects to close the deal as early as April 1. Its Sprint deal would create a new wireless giant that is roughly the size of AT&T and Verizon.
As part of the settlement announced by Becerra, T-Mobile will reimburse California for the costs and fees of its investigation and its litigation challenging the merger.
The company will also make low-cost phone and data plans available in the state for at least 5 years, provide no-cost internet and mobile Wi-Fi hotspot devices to 10 million low-income households nationwide, and increase employee diversity.
Associated Press contributed to this report.