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AT&T vows to bring back 5,000 U.S. jobs if merger approved

A view shows the AT&T store sign in Broomfield, Colorado
A view shows the AT&T store sign in Broomfield, Colorado

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc, whose proposed buy of T-Mobile USA is under scrutiny by U.S. regulators, promised to bring 5,000 wireless call-center jobs back to the United States if the deal wins approval.

The company has not decided where in the United States the positions will be located, AT&T said in a statement. The jobs are currently outsourced to other countries. The new U.S. employees will be eligible to join the company's unionized workforce.

AT&T also said the merger will not cause any job losses for U.S.-based wireless call-center employees of T-Mobile USA or AT&T who are on the payroll when the merger closes.

Currently, AT&T and T-Mobile have a combined total of 25,000 U.S.-based wireless call-center employees. The company would not comment on how many employees would remain overseas after the 5,000 jobs move back to the United States.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department are reviewing the proposed $39 billion purchase by AT&T of smaller rival T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG.

If approved as proposed, the merger would concentrate 80 percent of the U.S. wireless market in AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc.

AT&T has said the deal would allow it to quickly add capacity to meet growing demand for high-speed wireless service. Rivals such as Sprint Nextel Corp say the combination would hurt competition, while public interest groups have argued it would lead to higher prices.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Gary Hill)

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