National Urban League & National Action Network Issue Major Endorsement of AT&T/T-Mobile Merger

Two of the country's leading civil rights organizations, the National Urban League and Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, jointly endorsed the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA.

"Based on our discussions and other inquiries, we believe the merger will help achieve two important goals — expanding the availability of broadband to urban and minority communities, and job creation," Rev. Sharpton said.

The two groups filed a statement of interest with the Federal Communications Commission to support the merger. Group leaders said the decision came after weeks of discussions with advocates and opponents of the merger, as well as AT&T representatives.

Ultimately, they concluded that the merger would increase broadband adoption, create secure jobs, and offer critical economic opportunities for minority groups.

With African American unemployment at an alarmingly high rate and a widening digital divide between African Americans and the rest of the country, the filing said the FCC needs to act swiftly and allow the merger:

"African American consumers' embrace of wireless is our community's primary connection to the broadband economy and our primary method of closing the digital divide and securing first class digital citizenship.10 The FCC cannot afford to guess wrong and risk destroying this minority wireless miracle that is our best hope to close the digital divide."

The Communications Workers of America strongly endorses the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA and believes it would expand online opportunities for minority and urban groups.

"National Urban League, National Action Network, Support AT&T, T-Mobile Merger," National Action Network

"AT&T - T-Mobile Merger, WT Docket No. 11-65"