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Some local officials praise movement toward T-Mobile - Sprint merger

A federal judge this week ruled in favor of the planned merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.

He rejected arguments by several states including New York, that the merger of the two  telecommuncations companies would stifle competition and lead to higher prices for consumers.

Among the local officials favoring the deal is Henrietta Supervisor Steve Schultz, because the newly merged company would put in a call center in his town, potentially creating about 1,300 jobs.  And Schultz says that would not just benefit his town, but the entire area.

“They’ll draw from the entire region, and that’s one of the reasons they like that location, is because it has easy access to the expressway, both from Highland Drive or from East Henrietta Road,” Schultz said.

Schultz has said the site being looked at would be between Clay Road and Route 15A, not far from the Amazon distribution facility. 

"They have preliminary site plan approval, if they can get final site plan approval, depending on when they get their drawings done, they could have shovels in the ground by mid to late spring," Schultz said on Tuesday.

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The president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Bob Duffy said that besides the permanent employees, the new call center would provide other economic benefits.

“Probably 200-plus construction jobs, it would go on for at least close to a year. That’s a big economic impact here for Rochester for our workforce.”  And Duffy is also pleased that the plan for the new call center does not require incentives from local governments.

NY Attorney General Letitia James released a statement saying that, “There is no doubt that reducing the mobile market from four to three will be bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation, which is why the states stepped up and led this lawsuit. We disagree with this decision wholeheartedly, and will continue to fight the kind of consumer-harming megamergers our antitrust laws were designed to prevent.”

James said New York has not yet decided whether it will appeal this week’s court ruling.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.