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Starks Praises Diversity Agreement, But Still Opposes T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks is praising the diversity agreement struck between T-Mobile/Sprint and various civil rights groups, though he says that does not change his view that the FCC majority should not have approved the merger.

He voted against it this week.

He also said that, while the memorandum of understanding outlining the new T-Mobile's commitments, conditions them on the deal going through, Starks said they should apply even if a lawsuit filed by state attorneys general succeeded and the deal was blocked.

Related: Klobuchar Slams FCC for T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Approval

"Our major companies should have a workforce that looks like America, from entry level positions to the board of directors," he said in a statement. "I appreciate how this principle is reflected in the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between T-Mobile and the National Urban League, National Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and UnidosUS. The MOU includes important diversity and inclusion initiatives, including increased efforts to hire and retain a diverse workforce, better diverse representation on the board, and improved outreach to communities of color."

“While this development does not change my opposition to the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, I boldly applaud the spirit behind these commitments, and the roadmap that the document offers for other companies seeking to inject greater diversity and inclusion 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."