AT&T to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion

By on March 20, 2011, 2:15 PM
AT&T has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. With all of the rumors of Sprint and T-Mobile joining up, this may be a little surprising, but strategically it makes more sense since the two carriers have similar networks.

The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. Deutsche Telekom will receive an equity stake in AT&T that gives it an ownership interest in of approximately 8 percent. A Deutsche Telekom representative will join the AT&T Board of Directors. The deal is expected to close, pending regulatory approval, within the next 12 months.

While AT&T certainly wants T-Mobile for its subscribers, it's also clearly interested grabbing its (Long Term Evolution) network assets, improving network quality for both companies' customers, and gaining more of the limited wireless spectrum. With this transaction, AT&T is committing to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of the US population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans including rural communities and small towns.

"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future," Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America's high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth. This transaction delivers significant customer, shareowner and public benefits that are available at this level only from the combination of these two companies with complementary network technologies, spectrum positions and operations. We are confident in our ability to execute a seamless integration, and with additional spectrum and network capabilities, we can better meet our customers' current demands, build for the future and help achieve the President's goals for a high-speed, wirelessly connected America."





User Comments: 27

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OUTLAWXXX said:

This is bullshit!! Hopefully the deal is shutdown...

negroplasty negroplasty said:

Agreed, I guess I'll be switching to Verizon if this happens. AT&T is WHACK.

vipor231 said:

t-mobile sucks..ive had bad dealings with them and the fact ATT is getting them spells bad news for customers

Guest said:

Damn. I've been with T-Mobile since they were VoiceStream. This totally blows. One of the main reason's I chose them was because they weren't AT&T, Verizon or Sprint.

Guest said:

This is so coool. AT&T are the best possible people to take over T-Mobile.,

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Agreed, I guess I'll be switching to Verizon if this happens. AT&T is WHACK.

Yep, Verizon is not whack...

Scshadow said:

Great... less competition in an already anti-competitive market. Just what we need.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hahaha, and the AT&T bashing continues. Because, you know, Verizon is amazing.

If, and only if, people TRIED products, they would really realize what they're missing out. All this internet belief (because that's what it really is) that AT&T's signal is the worst, is all but a belief. Just like in some states Verizon is absolutely horrible, AT&T is equally horrible.

But in competitive states, out of the two, AT&T is usually superior, mainly because it owns most of the cell towers than any other network, in most of the metropolitan areas. Because, you know, AT&T has the most telecommunication-based government contracts.

Now, I do hate some of their business practices, such as the CEO treating that customer so bad through e-mail last year, the stupid data caps, or the exuberant prices of some of its services. But when people talk trash about AT&T's reliability (or speed) on states/cities where rival companies have a common ground, I just find it insulting because these allegations are always unsupported, and always based on what X person said on X forum or X website. Which is OK, because people are always going to complain about bad service, and rightfully so. But don't take the bad things 10 or so people (out of the 95 million) said about AT&T, and use it as irrefutable facts.

howzz1854 said:

i hope this doesn't go through..... what kind of circus is this!!. the government needs to step in and break this shyt up. this is exactly the opposite of what people want... more monopoly will only drive up the prices and lower the quality of products. watch they put a cap on everything, pretty soon you won't be able to do anything on your phone without bustin out your credit card. there's already lack of competition in the market place which enable these companies increase prices whenever they want, and now everything is going to be ATT!!? please uncle sam.. do something.

cardriverx said:

I was really hoping for sprint and tmo to merge.... my dreams have been dashed!

Nima304 said:

Great. Less competition in an already competitive market. I know someone already said this, but this is truly bullshit. I'd be more supportive if AT&T and Verizon were more concerned about their customers and less concerned about assets.

thewind said:

howzz1854 said:

i hope this doesn't go through..... what kind of circus is this!!. the government needs to step in and break this shyt up. this is exactly the opposite of what people want... more monopoly will only drive up the prices and lower the quality of products. watch they put a cap on everything, pretty soon you won't be able to do anything on your phone without bustin out your credit card. there's already lack of competition in the market place which enable these companies increase prices whenever they want, and now everything is going to be ATT!!? please uncle sam.. do something.

The fact that prices may increase is true, because competishion brings prices down. But not quality, quality usualy goes up. Take europe for example they have had a better network than the US for years but its all a monopoly. They also have faster internet. AT&T taking over is good for people on AT&T but not good for everyone else due to the cost may increase. I'm on sprint mainly because they are cheaper than Verizon, and WAY cheaper than AT@T. (Verizon may be cheaper on a family plan idk, but for just me Sprint saves me around $300 a year.)

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

thewind said:

But not quality, quality usualy goes up. Take europe for example they have had a better network than the US for years but its all a monopoly. They also have faster internet. AT&T taking over is good for people on AT&T but not good for everyone else due to the cost may increase.

Honestly, I fail to see where this statement makes sense. Or as some would say: bullsh*t. (Technological) Monopoly in Europe (or in the U.S.) *does not* / *never has* resulted in increased quality - but rather the opposite. In fact, the very reason for Europe having a better Internet-connection speed and network in general is because most (almost all in fact) European countries had a free market regarding network-services within a state-run system, thus Europe quickly adopted cellphones upon invention for instance. A head start you might say. As with network and other technological advancements.

Monopoly had no part of Europe's success in either networking or Internet connectivity. Try getting technological support from a stubborn goat, that's more or less easier than standing up to the big guy who's running the joint.

What if the US. cellular system was like the train system of my native European country? - one big monopoly. Well, first of all: a simple service like charging your cellular account would cost 10x what it's really worth, be 50x as slow as it should and have 50% increased monthly fees for a random stupid reason like "cellphone-button-pressing-tax". Try to oppose this fact and the company ruling supreme would simply laugh and tell you to go someplace else. Not as easy as they are the only ones around. Monopoly has not done Europe any good at all.

Trying to compete with one each other is what makes us better in the long run. AT&T acquiring T-Mobile is probably not going to improve the current situation in the US. And thus, I definitely oppose AT&T acquiring T-Mobile, monopoly will only do the customers bad and in the end; fill AT&T's coffers.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Definitely not happy about this, as already pointed out less competition is not what the US mobile market needs. I'm currently a very happy T-Mobile customer and have little interest in being with AT&T, especially considering they are dead last in customer satisfaction. I have a feeling we all will be on the losing end of this deal if it gets approved.

@lawfer I'd disagree with that, while yes they may be superior in some areas multiple survey's over the years has shown AT&T consistently at the bottom from customer satisfaction to dropped calls. That on-top of all the shenanigans they partake in does not instill any confidence that this merger will be good for us.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, customer service is gonna go in the tank now... AT&T is made of fail and aids. I was just planning on switching back to T-Mobile again too

@lawfer, I've waffled before, and gone back to AT&T 3 times (because the salesman was the devil), and all 3 times I realized why I hated AT&T to begin with. They have the absolute WORST customer service (a title they have held since dinosaurs roamed the earth), the call quality has always been horrible in my opinion, and I always found unsolicited erroneous charges on my bill (try getting a rep to fix them, that doesn't make you want to go on a shooting spree, and I'll buy you a beer). AT&T might have "more towers" than any of the other companies, but that DOES NOT make them the more reliable company.

tengeta tengeta said:

When are pirate cell networks going to get here? I can't stand any cell provider.

Guest said:

On some other posts people said that given that the combined company would control something like 50-55% of the market and thus is not a monopoly, but when you filter in the fact that both ATT and T-Mobile use GSM, which is in world-wide use, then this means that the combined company will own 95% or more of the GSM market in the country -- THAT is a monopoly...

As for the poster who said that a monopoly works in some European countries, it is because the govt actually regulates and at least tries to think of the people, whereas here (U.S.) it takes only a $200,000 campaign contribution for the regulator to look the other way while proclaiming that it is good for the market and ultimately the consumer to have a single company controlling everything.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

vipor231 said:

t-mobile sucks..ive had bad dealings with them and the fact ATT is getting them spells bad news for customers

Really? I've nothing but good experience with T-Mobile. When I first got them, they were unable to give me a number within my area code but said they would call back when one became available...2 weeks later they called and gave me the right area code. I was surprised they actually called. And they've never tried talking me into getting more stuff that I don't need. They listen to my questions and to everything i'm saying. They always know what they're doing when I need any help. I go in, tell them my problem, and in a few minutes i'm out. I think the problem is with the people. There are people with bad customer service in every company.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

I'm disappointed. Tethering without extra costs is about to go out the window, as is the customer service that T-Mobile customer have grown to expect. AT&T was a joke when they were a landline monopoly, and they are a joke now. I recently renewed my T-Mobile contract - hopefully this will qualify as a significant enough change to the terms that I can get out of it and into Verizon.

If I am going to pay more and have crappy customer service, I may as well be on the better network.

howzz1854 said:

thewind said:

howzz1854 said:

i hope this doesn't go through..... what kind of circus is this!!. the government needs to step in and break this shyt up. this is exactly the opposite of what people want... more monopoly will only drive up the prices and lower the quality of products. watch they put a cap on everything, pretty soon you won't be able to do anything on your phone without bustin out your credit card. there's already lack of competition in the market place which enable these companies increase prices whenever they want, and now everything is going to be ATT!!? please uncle sam.. do something.

The fact that prices may increase is true, because competishion brings prices down. But not quality, quality usualy goes up. Take europe for example they have had a better network than the US for years but its all a monopoly. They also have faster internet. AT&T taking over is good for people on AT&T but not good for everyone else due to the cost may increase. I'm on sprint mainly because they are cheaper than Verizon, and WAY cheaper than AT@T. (Verizon may be cheaper on a family plan idk, but for just me Sprint saves me around $300 a year.)

This has to be the most illogical logic ever. simply lumping Monopoly, and Europe has faster network together doesn't mean Monopoly equals faster network. any economist with a half sense will know that monopoly does NOT equal to faster or better product and services. look back into history, every monopoly cases have always resulted in poorer services, and higher prices. you'd be a fool to believe the opposite. the reason Europe and Asia has a faster network with better coverage is due to other reasons like government incentive + fiscal policy. the moment you let a monopolized companies do whatever they want, is the day you can kiss your money goodbye. if you're buying into the whole bull of ATT&T promising better coverage and rural services by combining with T-mobile, you just drank up their cool-aid, the whole bottle. they proclaim that to get the regulators to pass the bill, or to look the other way.

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

So let me make sure I've got this right. AT&T is already having a hard time providing really good service to their existing clients on an already overtaxed network . . . and their solution to that is to suddenly add millions of more users to that same overloaded network. Have I got this right?

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

Before the responses come in . . . yes, I realize they're gaining more infrastructure as well. However, the T-Mo folks are going to hate the new ridiculous rates and the AT&T folks know the problem really isn't MORE cell sites, it's the poor service WITHIN the cell sites themselves. Having more cites will merely spread the problem even further. Before AT&T acquires tons of more infrastructure to maintain, they first need to clean up the mess within what they have now!

stbecker said:

VzW shored up their national coverage by acquiring Alltel last year. As a former architectural engineering lead on a tier 1 application for VzW, I studied the network layouts for both companies in detail. Yes, AT&T might have some densely populated areas with better coverage, but VzW focused on the broader picture. When your marketing teams hype the network at every available opportunity, you can imagine that the capital expenditures are focused on backing up that claim. Conversely, AT&T generated some bad publicity through network congestion and call quality. VzW was the clear front runner through strategic and calculated maneuvering. AT&T counteracted by nixing unlimited plans. Sure, those of us who hog bandwidth are not happy. But believe it or not, but the "average" customer actually pays less than when they had to be part of the unlimited plans. All carriers saw this coming as unlimited plans are no longer justifiable in terms of maintaining the bottom line when you factor in the infrastructure that has to support it. AT&T just made the first move in that sense. So now it comes back to subscriber base. And now the wireless carrier leap-frog game has AT&T as the front runner. If the TM acquisition includes enough physical towers, which I'm guessing it does, you can bet that those commercials about the bigger/better network are going to thrown right back in the face of VzW. In the background there will be lawsuits about who is allowed to say what. It's funny how the government ruled that a monopoly is illegal but the wireless carriers are just toppling the dominos back in that direction. In a free enterprise, more options always benefits the consumer. So consolidation will only mean higher prices down the road.

DarkCobra DarkCobra said:

I agree with stbecker. It's like the old "Ma Bell" is reassembling only this time in cellular form. I predict Verizon will now go after Sprint (similar systems) and eventually there will be two giant behemoths standing. Competition will be radically reduced and WE will all be the losers. This merger is going to set something in motion that is going to be bad for everyone. Just watch.

Guest said:

Anyone notice that in the headline graphic for this feature article, the AT&T logo has been shopped over a sphere that has some rather distinctive texture or characteristics? Seems to suggest allusion to, oh I don't know, maybe The Empire's DEATH STAR!!!! >:-[ Hey, HTC, we're going to be needing a new line of specialty phones. How's progress coming on your hand held solid-beam laser cutting projection technology.

May The FCC Be With You!

Guest said:

Honestly... do we even have an FCC anymore, how is this good for consumer's and not a oligopoly.

Why doesn't AT&T fess up and just admit, it has oversold it's backbone (bandwidth) for many years and have neglected their infrastructure. Why not spend $39 billion on that? Then they could COMPETE for our dollar.

As it stand, now they have what they want and the CEO has no incentive to build a future network, and just stair @ their portfolio's.

This should be disallowed

Scott8090 said:

lawfer said:

Hahaha, and the AT&T bashing continues. Because, you know, Verizon is amazing.

If, and only if, people TRIED products, they would really realize what they're missing out. All this internet belief (because that's what it really is) that AT&T's signal is the worst, is all but a belief. Just like in some states Verizon is absolutely horrible, AT&T is equally horrible.

But in competitive states, out of the two, AT&T is usually superior, mainly because it owns most of the cell towers than any other network, in most of the metropolitan areas. Because, you know, AT&T has the most telecommunication-based government contracts.

Now, I do hate some of their business practices, such as the CEO treating that customer so bad through e-mail last year, the stupid data caps, or the exuberant prices of some of its services. But when people talk trash about AT&T's reliability (or speed) on states/cities where rival companies have a common ground, I just find it insulting because these allegations are always unsupported, and always based on what X person said on X forum or X website. Which is OK, because people are always going to complain about bad service, and rightfully so. But don't take the bad things 10 or so people (out of the 95 million) said about AT&T, and use it as irrefutable facts.

AT&T really hasn't had any lack of service pretty much anywhere I've been(around certain parts of florida and indiana. i did loss signal a few times but 90 percent of the time i had signal). Now as for good quailty calls thats another story. iphone to pantech impact to sony ericson...the qualty is the same..far from what others provide. For some reason, ATT phones: worse speaker phones(that i've encountered), worse longtifity of the products, worst support(throught the companies them selfs not att), The internet on all the att phones i listed is not compareable to a any t-mobile 3g connected phone i've used.

Yea, a lot of people pull crap on att from no where but if you want someone to complain at, you chosen the right thread lol. Overall AT&T is far from a good company. Bad Customer service(for internet, tv, and phone), their rates are steap for what they provide(internet: if you buy 6 mb internet they don't give you 6 mb.., cell: they charged 15 dollars in taxes...load of ***. t-mobile did not, uverse is ridden with problems that time and time again..happen and are not fixed. the company doesn't bother to even fix them, they provide missleading information regarding their instant messaging for cell phones, they charge two months prorating compared to t-mobile..which charged a month, must i really go on?).

Well to close this, AT&T has been listed lowest on the customer satification surveys sense as far back as i can remember..as well as so many people complaining about them..People may be ****** at times but really? if you got that many people hating AT&T there must be a dang reason..would be best to find the reason rather than complain about people!.

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