There was some big news for T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger this week, as the FCC voted to formally approve the deal. That’s not the only bit of news to come out regarding the deal, though, as T-Mobile has also struck an agreement with a coalition of civil rights groups.
With this agreement, T-Mobile has pledged to expand on its existing diversity initiatives following the closing of its proposed merger with Sprint. The organizations that are part of the agreement include the National Urban League, National Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, League of United Latin American Citizens, and UnidosUS.
The diversity commitments made by T-Mobile as part of this Memorandum of Understanding include:
- “Standing up a national diversity and inclusion council comprised of non-employees from diverse groups, including each of the multicultural leadership organizations that are party to the MOU, and other highly esteemed community leaders to facilitate open communication over the development, monitoring, and evaluation of diversity initiatives and to provide advice to the New T-Mobile senior executives.”
- “With the help and input of the council, developing and implementing a Diversity Strategic Plan addressing each of the key elements of the MOU and reflecting best practices in the industry.”
- “Increasing the diversity of its leadership and workforce at all levels including its Board governance, to reflect the diversity of the communities in which it operates.”
- “Making a targeted effort to increase partnerships, business, and procurement activities with diverse business enterprises in a range of categories such as financial and banking services, advertising, legal services and asset sales. New T-Mobile aims to become a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable by 2025.”
- “Expanding wireless offerings to low income citizens, underserved minority populations and insular and rural areas, and to organizations serving these underserved communities.”
- “A significant philanthropic investment for institutions serving disadvantaged or underrepresented communities to support tech entrepreneurship and to bridge the gap in literacy, job training, and access and participation in the digital economy for communities of color.”
The coalition of groups says that it encourages Dish Network to, at minimum, match these commitments if the merger is completed and Dish becomes a player in the U.S. wireless market. The coalition is also encouraging the group of state attorneys general that are suing to block the merger to resolve their litigation “in a way that delivers the consumer benefits of this transaction.”
After news of this agreement came out, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said that while it does not change his opposition to the merger, he applauds the spirit behind the pledges and the roadmap that the MOU offers for other companies looking to inject diversity into their operations.
“To that end, I would expect T-Mobile to honor the commitments made here regardless of the outcome of pending litigation regarding this transaction,” Commissioner Starks said. T-Mobile should fully utilize the wisdom and expertise of the civil rights organizations consulted here today consistent with its stated desire to champion diversity and inclusion.”