20
Mar
ATT_tmob
Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011

In a move that comes way out of left field, AT&T and T-Mobile officially announced today that the former will be buying the latter for $39 billion. This is contrary to what we've been hearing around the 'net that Sprint was the one likely to be making the purchase, but in some ways, a merger with AT&T does make more sense.

For starters, AT&T and T-Mobile both use GSM, while Sprint relies on CDMA. Taking things a step further, AT&T and T-Mobile are both building out HSPA+ for their "4G" network now and have LTE spectrum in their arsenal, while Sprint uses WiMAX (although rumor has it they're making a switch to LTE). The press release claims that customers will see service quality and coverage improve significantly, with five years worth of new towers being added to the network. The combination will also allow them to expand their LTE footprint thanks to the added spectrum.

On the other side of the argument, Sprint and T-Mobile are the third- and fourth-largest US carriers; a merger between the two could have created a company large enough to properly compete with AT&T (second) and Verizon (first). Further, T-Mobile and Sprint both share a cost-leadership strategy, with the companies offering data plans at significantly lower prices than the big dogs.

It's hard to say where things will go from here. The merger is obviously pending regulatory approval, but it seems likely that the deal will go through. The release states that AT&T will incorporate T-Mobile, but does that mean an end to T-Mobile's bargain pricing, leaving Sprint the only company to offer plans at a low price? Or will they somehow continue to keep T-Mobile plans around, maintaining both? And how will this affect the competition?

The companies say it will take a year to complete the process, and the combined entity will have roughly 130 million subscribers. For more details, the press release is copied below. Vote in the poll, and then let us know what you think via the comments.

Update #1 by Artem: T-Mobile posted an FAQ with some info related to the acquisition. Looks like T-Mobile is staying relatively independent of AT&T for the time being, but it's surely going to change as the merger progresses.

The FAQ doesn't sound desperate at all or anything:

"Should I wait to sign-up with T-Mobile USA or upgrade my phone?

No, T-Mobile USA offers the latest wireless devices that are affordable on America’s Largest 4G Network and the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA will mean even stronger service for our customers. Now is a great time to be a T-Mobile customer."

Update #2 by Artem: As All Things D reminds us with the brilliantly named T-Mobile: We Were Totally Kidding About AT&T’s Crappy Network! T-Mobile has been bashing AT&T for a good number of years. Oh, the irony.

Poll

What are your thoughts on AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Press Release

AT&T to Acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom

Provides Fast, Efficient and Certain Solution to Impending Spectrum Exhaust Challenges Facing AT&T and T-Mobile USA in Key Markets Due to Explosive Demand for Mobile Broadband

Enhances Network Capacity, Output and Quality in Near Term for Both Companies' Customers
AT&T Commits to Expand 4G LTE Deployment to an Additional 46.5 Million Americans, Including in Rural, Smaller Communities, for a Total of 294 Million or 95% of the U.S. Population

Provides 4G LTE Service for T-Mobile USA's 34 Million Subscribers

More Than $8 Billion in Incremental Infrastructure Spend by a U.S. Company over Seven Years, Enabling Nation's High-Tech Industry, Innovation and Economic Growth

Creates Substantial Value for AT&T Shareholders Through Large, Straightforward Synergies

DALLAS & BONN, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Deutsche Telekom AG (FWB: DTE) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future"
AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile USA provides an optimal combination of network assets to add capacity sooner than any alternative, and it provides an opportunity to improve network quality in the near term for both companies' customers. In addition, it provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending exhaustion of wireless spectrum in some markets, which limits both companies' ability to meet the ongoing explosive demand for mobile broadband.

With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans – including rural communities and small towns. This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obama's goals to connect "every part of America to the digital age." T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE.

"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. "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."

Stephenson continued, "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."

Deutsche Telekom Chairman and CEO René Obermann said, "After evaluating strategic options for T-Mobile USA, I am confident that AT&T is the best partner for our customers, shareholders and the mobile broadband ecosystem. Our common network technology makes this a logical combination and provides an efficient path to gaining the spectrum and network assets needed to provide T-Mobile customers with 4G LTE and the best devices. Also, the transaction returns significant value to Deutsche Telekom shareholders and allows us to retain exposure to the U.S. market."

As part of the transaction, Deutsche Telekom will receive an equity stake in AT&T that, based on the terms of the agreement, would give Deutsche Telekom an ownership interest in AT&T of approximately 8 percent. A Deutsche Telekom representative will join the AT&T Board of Directors.

Competition and Pricing

The U.S. wireless industry is one of the most fiercely competitive markets in the world and will remain so after this deal. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world where a large majority of consumers can choose from five or more wireless providers in their local market. For example, in 18 of the top 20 U.S. local markets, there are five or more providers. Local market competition is escalating among larger carriers, low-cost carriers and several regional wireless players with nationwide service plans. This intense competition is only increasing with the build-out of new 4G networks and the emergence of new market entrants.

The competitiveness of the market has directly benefited consumers. A 2010 report from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) states the overall average price (adjusted for inflation) for wireless services declined 50 percent from 1999 to 2009, during a period which saw five major wireless mergers.

Addresses wireless spectrum challenges facing AT&T, T-Mobile USA, their customers, and U.S. policymakers
This transaction quickly provides the spectrum and network efficiencies necessary for AT&T to address impending spectrum exhaust in key markets driven by the exponential growth in mobile broadband traffic on its network.

AT&T's mobile data traffic grew 8,000 percent over the past four years and by 2015 it is expected to be eight to 10 times what it was in 2010. Put another way, all of the mobile traffic volume AT&T carried during 2010 is estimated to be carried in just the first six to seven weeks of 2015. Because AT&T has led the U.S. in smartphones, tablets and e-readers – and as a result, mobile broadband – it requires additional spectrum before new spectrum will become available. In the long term, the entire industry will need additional spectrum to address the explosive growth in demand for mobile broadband.

Improves service quality for U.S. wireless customers

AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers will see service improvements - including improved voice quality - as a result of additional spectrum, increased cell tower density and broader network infrastructure. At closing, AT&T will immediately gain cell sites equivalent to what would have taken on average five years to build without the transaction, and double that in some markets. The combination will increase AT&T's network density by approximately 30 percent in some of its most populated areas, while avoiding the need to construct additional cell towers. This transaction will increase spectrum efficiency to increase capacity and output, which not only improves service, but is also the best way to ensure competitive prices and services in a market where demand is extremely high and spectrum is in short supply.

Expands 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of U.S. population – urban and rural areas

This transaction will directly benefit an additional 46.5 million Americans – equivalent to the combined populations of the states of New York and Texas – who will, as a result of this combination, have access to AT&T's latest 4G LTE technology. In terms of area covered, the transaction enables 4G LTE deployment to an additional 1.2 million square miles, equivalent to 4.5 times the size of the state of Texas. Rural and smaller communities will substantially benefit from the expansion of 4G LTE deployment, increasing the competitiveness of the businesses and entrepreneurs in these areas.

Increases AT&T's investment in the U.S.

The acquisition will increase AT&T's infrastructure investment in the U.S. by more than $8 billion over seven years. Expansion of AT&T's 4G LTE network is an important foundation for the next wave of innovation and growth in mobile broadband, ensuring the U.S. continues to lead the world in wireless technology and availability. It makes T-Mobile USA, currently a German-owned U.S. telecom network, part of a U.S.-based company.
An impressive, combined workforce

Bringing AT&T and T-Mobile USA together will create an impressive workforce that is best positioned to compete in today's global economy. Post-closing, AT&T intends to tap into the significant knowledge and expertise held by employees of both AT&T and T-Mobile USA to succeed. AT&T is the only major U.S. wireless company with a union workforce, offering leading wages, benefits, training and development for employees. The combined company will continue to have a strong employee and operations base in the Seattle area.

Consistent with AT&T's track record of value-enhancing acquisitions

AT&T has a strong track record of executing value-enhancing acquisitions and expects to create substantial value for shareholders through large, straightforward synergies with a run rate of more than $3 billion, three years after closing onward (excluding integration costs). The value of the synergies is expected to exceed the purchase price of $39 billion. Revenue synergies come from opportunities to increase smartphone penetration and data average revenue per user, with cost savings coming from network efficiencies, subscriber and support savings, reduced churn and avoided capital and spectrum expenditures.

The transaction will enhance margin potential and improve the company's long-term revenue growth potential as it benefits from a more robust mobile broadband platform for new services.

Additional financial information

The $39 billion purchase price will include a cash payment of $25 billion with the balance to be paid using AT&T common stock, subject to adjustment. AT&T has the right to increase the cash portion of the purchase price by up to $4.2 billion with a corresponding reduction in the stock component, so long as Deutsche Telekom receives at least a 5 percent equity ownership interest in AT&T.

The number of AT&T shares issued will be based on the AT&T share price during the 30-day period prior to closing, subject to a 7.5 percent collar; there is a one-year lock-up period during which Deutsche Telekom cannot sell shares.

The cash portion of the purchase price will be financed with new debt and cash on AT&T's balance sheet. AT&T has an 18-month commitment for a one-year unsecured bridge term facility underwritten by J.P. Morgan for $20 billion. AT&T assumes no debt from T-Mobile USA or Deutsche Telekom and continues to have a strong balance sheet.

The transaction is expected to be earnings (excluding non-cash amortization and integration costs) accretive in the third year after closing. Pro-forma for 2010, this transaction increases AT&T's total wireless revenues from $58.5 billion to nearly $80 billion, and increases the percentage of AT&T's total revenues from wireless, wireline data and managed services to approximately 80 percent.

This transaction will allow for sufficient cash flow to support AT&T's dividend. AT&T has increased its dividend for 27 consecutive years, a matter decided by AT&T's Board of Directors.

Conditions

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals, a reverse breakup fee in certain circumstances, and other customary regulatory and other closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in approximately 12 months.

Advisors

Greenhill & Co., J.P. Morgan and Evercore Partners acted as financial advisors and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Arnold & Porter, and Crowell & Moring provided legal advice to AT&T.

Conference Call/Webcast

On Monday, March 21, 2011, at 8 a.m. ET, AT&T Inc. will host a live video and audio webcast presentation regarding its announcement to acquire T-Mobile USA. Links to the webcast and accompanying documents will be available on AT&T's Investor Relations website. Please log in 15 minutes ahead of time to test your browser and register for the call.

For dial-in access, please dial +1 (888) 517-2464 within the U.S. or +1 (630) 827-6816 outside the U.S. after 7:30 a.m. ET. Enter passcode 8442095# to join or ask the conference call operator for the AT&T Investor Relations event.

The webcast will be available for replay on AT&T's Investor Relations website on March 21, 2011, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET through April 21, 2011. An archive of the conference call will also be available during this time period. To access the recording, please dial +1 (877) 870-5176 within the U.S. or +1 (858) 384-5517 outside the U.S. and enter reservation code 29362481#.

Transaction Website

For more information on the transaction, including background information and factsheets, visit www.MobilizeEverything.com.

[via Engadget]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Chris

    Since when is AT&T first?

  • cooperaaaron

    Well, I will grandfathered into my current unlimited package.. hopefully that won't change.

  • Raphael

    This is definitely not good for consumers. Now we have the giants ATT and Verizon, with little Sprint in the corner. What's next? VZ to gobble Sprint??? I hope this is blocked

    • panic

      I agree this sounds like a monopoly effect

      • Kane

        AT&T's got dibs first, which means there are 2 more regional carriers after the acquisition left, which is plenty enough to not be considered anti-competitive. Even if VZW eats up Sprint, it still won't be a monopoly.

      • Klc

        T-Mobile will lose its name. T-Mobile customers will be able to keep their existing rate plans and phones. The coverage is going to be a huge expansion. At&t now offers unlim calls to any other cell phone carrier for free as long as you have unlim msg. We also offer tethering and the ability to talk and surf the websimultaneously. Again, Tmobile prices will not change. Check out this site: http://www.mobilizeeverything.com. I work for AT&T and they told us this info.

  • Eric

    I want to leave AT&T so bad. I don't like Verizon much either, and Sprint has literally no service where I live. That left Tmobile. Not anymore it would seem.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      T-Mobile's towers aren't going offline - they're merging them with AT&T's. Your service should improve, not get worse.

      • BobbyPhoenix

        +1

        Just because AT&T is buying T-Mobile doesn't mean T-Mobile will become AT&T. I think it will be like Sprint and Nextel. Both owned by the same company, but they keep their respective names and brandings. If anything we will still see the Magenta in more places with better service, and see the big Blue with more reliability. I'm all for that as my traveling to places now only sees AT&T in some places I go, so now I will have good T-Mobile coverage everywhere. You will have an end result of a MEGA POWER network.

        • Myqalan

          I doubt the T-Mo name will stay. AT&T is only buying T-Mobile USA (not all of T-Mobile), so they most likely won't be able to keep the name and branding.

        • BobbyPhoenix

          Hm I guess I am thinking backwards then. I thought it was the other way around. Since they are only buying the US part they would have to keep the name. Oh well we will see I guess.

        • Todd

          You don't know anything about the company presently calling itself AT&T, do you. It was originally one of the baby bells, called SBC for Southern Bell Corp (I think). It's bought out numerous baby bells (such as Pacific Bell) who ceased to exist. It acquired AT&T Cellular which it merged into its Cingular brand. Then it bought Ma Bell and switched everything over to the AT&T name. T-Mobile is done for, and so it's superior service plans. No more bring your own phone.

  • Peter H

    yeah, now Sprint is a dwarf! Sad.

  • garrett

    This sucks, I was going to switch from verizon to t-mobile for $ reasons but not anymore.

    • chiDan

      I think the opposite. Now is the perfect time to get t-mobile! Get into a 2 year contract with a much better rate plan. If and when the merger completes, you gain a lot more coverage and you still have your killer rate plan. And if your smart, you call up t-mobile before the merger completes and re-up your contract, and extend it 2 years.

      I have a no overage plan. It's actually called the 5gb no overage plan. No way at&t can force overage on a plan that doesn't have overage. Im grandfathered, and if you get t-mobile, you will be too@

  • Tyler

    Can i cancel my service with them if this goes threw? without ETF?

    • mugabo

      Ask this question again about a year from now; until then, don't stress about it too much.

    • Kane

      I think if parts of your service change, you would qualify for cancelling without an ETF. The merger will probably take a loooong time to complete, so don't go digging just yet.

    • chiDan

      They are grandfathering the rate plans. Nothing bill wise will change. You will still gain the added coverage but there is no reason why you can leave etf free. They are not forcing you to a new rate plan or anything.

      When your contracts up, and they dont keep your rate plan, then you can leave etf free. Until your contracts up, i wouldn't worry about it.

  • Please

    Was it really necessary to copy the complete press release???

    • Aaron Gingrich

      I didn't realize that was so offensive. Yes, it was really necessary. Perhaps you should use the "Comments" link at the top right of the post next time - that way you won't have to scroll manually.

  • craig

    Bad for consumers. Now there's only 1 GSM carrier in the U.S.

    • BobbyPhoenix

      Bad? Instead of a good fast reliable smaller company with less coverage, and a slow unreliable large company all over the place, you now get a fast, really large, really reliable company that covers almost 100% of the US. How is that bad?

      • Kane

        Agreed, I think, if done right on the technical side, this can create a super-carrier with the best network. Unfortunately, it also probably means with the worst customer service of the 3 remaining companies.

      • Todd

        No, you'll just have a slow unreliable larger company all over the place which won't be quite as bad as it was in the bigger cities as it converts T-Mo towers over to its own standards.

  • Cliff

    What are my thoughts you ask: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!
    I left that over-priced, data-Nazi carrier for a reason, and now it seems I’m getting dragged right back to them. As I said in the poll, AT&T is going to ruin T-Mobile, and now all I have to look forward to is higher prices for worse service: more expensive unlimited texting, no unlimited data, oh, and no tethering anymore either I guess; unless I want to pay out the ass for it. Man I hate AT&T…

    • marshall

      I completely agree AT&T could be more oppressive than the nazi's...

  • Eric

    I love TMobile and despise ATT. I have 4 family phones with TMobile and my business partner just switched to them. Fortunately we are not under contract so the first time we see that ATT's influence is taking over we will drop them like a hot potato. I really feel for all of the wonderful TMobile employees at the store I frequent and hope that ATT will be smart enough to leave a good thing alone. Thankfully it will take a year for this to become final.

  • trull

    I think this is shocking news for Sprint. They know they are now in serious trouble...

  • SEVEN

    Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint just choked!

  • Sancho

    At&t's price plans are garbage. I hope they dont kill the tmobile unlimited plans.

  • LindaA

    I love T-Mobile. I can't imagine this being a good thing. Do you think that the current T-Mobile employees will lose their jobs? They have the best customer and sales support staff of any of the cell phone companies. What are your thoughts on this?

    • ruff

      no, i think they will merge the network, but will also differentiate the two brands. I dont think there will be an impact on employees or cutting jobs.

      • Todd

        This is AT&T, the company that was once known as SBC. Do you ever see any Cingular stores around? How about Pacific Bell in California? Or whatever other baby Bell's they ate up.
        Maybe some of the T-Mobile stores will remain open and eventually be renamed, but a lot will be closed down. Some of the staff will be moved over to AT&T stores, but others will be laid off. And most of the office workers will straight up lose their jobs.

  • Androidess

    No, job loss yet-At&t would have to assume some TMO stores/open new ones to account for their new larger CUST base. Besides, it's all pending, governmental regulatory approval & if FCC doesn't approve acquisition within 12 month's, At&t contractually, must pay TMO 3 billion dollar break up fee, provide additional tower sharing, etc. Win-win for DT either way.

  • Simon Belmont

    This might actually be good news for Sprint. They can now be the only value leader, which will lure more price conscious customers.

    Of course, then again, most of Sprint's gains in the last year or so was on prepaid and not postpaid. Oh well, all I know is that I really hope Verizon doesn't swallow up Sprint.

    • Todd

      Sprint is losing money every quarter, if I remember correctly. They're most likely to go into bankruptcy and their assets will get bought by Verizon. Can they charge you a termination fee if they go out of business?

  • Kenneth P

    I think tmobile is gonna disappear and its going to be just att just like they did with cingular

    • Todd

      Although it was actually SBC/Cingular buying AT&T and taking the name that was more familiar to the public. Which is why I hate to see the new AT&T be referred to as "Ma Bell".

  • yen

    I will let them merge only under one condition: All phone are sold unlock and all wireless carriers operate on the same frequencies and no more roaming charges in the US.

  • carlos

    Been with t-mobile since it was called Omnipoint than VoiceStream now is time to move on..Sprint...

    • Chris

      Yeah, my family's been with them since they were VoiceStream. A shame to see them go.

  • Chris

    My biggest concern is the pricing plans, as others have voiced. And the fact that AT&T is much more draconian about enforcing them. T-Mobile doesn't care that my Nexus One can wirelessly tether without me paying for the ability, but AT&T does. Network speed is less of an issue for me, since I would have to get a 4G phone first in order to see any difference.

    Normally, this would make me consider jumping to Verizon, but I consider a GSM phone to be rather important since I end up abroad, and would like to be able to use my phone in an emergency.

    The upside is access to AT&T's phones, like the Atrix, and possibly AT&T's higher-speed 4G network, but I don't think these really counterbalance the costs of service. Google may have a harder time negotiating for support for their Nexus phones as well.

  • Androidess

    Yes, Sprint has shown more of a loss & now, they have Wimax concerns with Clear but, FCC won't allow them to be able to just quit by going bankrupt without another company first, buying them out & there has always been another to buy struggling wireless providers. When Verizon acquired Alltel, Altell customers were allowed to keep their current Altell
    contract until it expired, customer changed existing plan, upgraded phones, etc.

  • http://bobertstech.blogspot.com Robert Dunn

    In this area I'm limited to AT&T by coverage. (I could jump to US Cellular, but they don't have any excellent Androids.) I am an Android fan. AT&T and Android don't make the best of friends. T-Mobile has the Nexus S and the G2. Both run vanilla Android and have the ability to sideload apps out of the box. Need I say more?

  • Noel

    Bad day for all the GSM Magenta loyalists and for compitition. A country as large and populated as the US should be capable of having 5 major networks, to ensure that compitition strives. If this deal goes thru, this will leave only one GSM network in the whole continental US..consiquently all those who love their GSM devices will be trapped..have no where to go if not satisfied w/Att. For all the Tmo loyalist this will mean a loss of the cheaper rates, good customer service and faster data speeds. If i am not mistaken..i must have read recently that Att intends to make other devices run at slower speeds except for iPhones. Now if that proves to be true then it just gives a glimpse of what the only GSM network in the whole continental US will do to all the Android devices capable of higher speeds. To me i would have prefered to see Google jump on this acquisition to give them a perfect platform to ensure pure breed vanila GSM Android devices. Just imagine the possibilities...i am sure lots of customers want devices that are not loaded with bloatware. Hope the powers that ensure such mergers don't give it a GO and ensure that GSM compitition is alive well. Lots of Tmo loyalist and those ready to leave the clutches of over priced and speed throttling networks will always have another network to turn to. KEEP GSM COMPITION ALIVE IN THE USA.

    • Chris

      AT&T's speed restrictions are only for upload speeds, and don't apply for all phones, although some popular phones are affected.

  • RomeSC

    Me and my wife just got our hands on Nexus Ones to use with our Tzones data because we've been with T-Mo for 7 years. So much for data plans, and so much for the $500 phones we bought. Good timing...

  • The_Omega_Man

    I think the T-mobile girl (Carly??) needs to call her agent ASAP!

  • Bloody.Falcon

    Remember what happened in Canada? When Rogers bought Fido, everyone was rejoiced. Now? It needs to government to step in to lower the price of the cell phone bill by bringing in new carriers at the cost of Industry Canada to over turn CRTC's decision. History will be repeated if AT&T purchased T-mobile!!! What AT&T doing right now is just like Rogers, trying to eliminate competition from the market. Everyone knows before Rogers bought Fido, the big 3 in Canada needs to pay close attention to Fido's pricing, once Rogers bought Fido, the big 3 evils just jack the price up to whatever they want!!!

  • Chris

    Interestingly, I read in another article that as per the terms of the agreement, if the deal is rejected by regulators, Deutsche Telecom gets a $3 billion breakup fee from AT&T, plus access to AT&T's spectrum. And to ease the chances of the deal going through, AT&T has promised 4G coverage in 95% of the country, including small and rural communities.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      Actually, as I understand it the 4G to 95% bit is the result of the merged spectrum, not part of some agreement. And yeah, they say in the press release there are terms so that if the deal doesn't go through, DT gets $, as you said. The access to spectrum bit is news to me, though.

      • Chris

        The spectrum terms were mentioned in this article: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/att-to-buy-t-mobile-usa-for-39-billion/?hp

        Specifically:

        "Deutsche Telekom was so worried that the transaction would not be approved that it pushed AT&T to agree to a big breakup fee and spectrum as a form of insurance, according to people involved in the deal. The breakup fee in the deal is $3 billion, nearly 8 percent of the deal’s deal value. Typically, such fees are around 5 percent of the value."

        Although it's worth noting that the article itself seems to have been revised, as it is different than the version I was originally sent in an e-mail. It does still mention the spectrum collateral though.

  • Leo

    Wow, so my wife and I have been with TMO for almost 6 yrs and it looks like next year we're gonna need to find a new home. I left Sprint because of horrid service, customer service, and pricing to go to Nextel. When Sprint gobbled them up I went to TMO. Need I remind you all that AT&T was sued back in the 90's by the FCC for what they were doing to their customers. This will end in the worst type of way possible. If AT&T is # 1 or 2 then how many customers do they already have on their bogged down network? Now lets add TMO customers with TMO's network into the pot. If anyone thinks that this is going to end well I need some of your drugs STAT because I don't see it. TMO doesn't have the greatest phone selection, but 2 MAJOR reasons for sticking with them all these years was for their pricing and customer service. Remember what AT&T did when they realized Apple was going to Verizon? I remember them slapping on ETF's that were insane. So glad we're out of contract and can leave anytime we want. For any TMO customers who are looking to upgrade your phones buy the phone outright. You'll have to pay an initial 10% of the phones value upfront but in the long run you won't be locked into a 2 year contract and you're only paying an additional $25 extra per month. You also have 30 days to try out the phone vs. 14 if you bought it under the 2 year contract. Remember that if you decide to leave AT&TMO that you don't have to worry about paying a EFT and you'll also be able to sell your phone. This must have been what the TMO UK CEO came over to the states to talk about with the TMO USA CEO back in January. Just my 2 cents and I hope and PRAY that this doesn't get approved.

    • Chris

      Well, the buyout is good news for AT&T customers, who get access to T-Mobile's relatively unburdened network and are already paying AT&T rates. T-Mobile customers get shafted though since they get flooded with AT&T users and their rates go up.

  • jay

    great...now consumers are gonna have to pay more for there wireless service..all the big carriers verizon, att are money hungry which means if they merge with tmobile we will be paying alot more for our phone bills...but contract subscriptions are declining anyways everybodys switchin to prepaid..the united states is the only country that has contract cellphones every other country is all about prepaid except the us and canada

  • Leo

    So does this mean the end of TMO crushing AT&T with those commercials about speed on their bogged down network using the iPhone? I rather enjoyed those a lot.

  • http://androidjet.com Android Jet

    Is it a good news? Will the service price and mobile price drop??

  • Why!!!!!!

    Great just great time to get rip off and start getting are money stolen from att like the rest of their customers. I can't wait the only other thing they need too start chargeing for is for use of the andriod market and trust if they could theses thiefts would o and say goodbye too the best customer care as well here I come sprint.

  • Tonedabone

    This is horrid news for everyone of us. If you think this will cause your bill to go anywhere except up, you are sadly mistaken. 3 cell companies instead of 4 is just more of a monopoly. I don't care what provider you have. They may ease you or "lull" you into a false sense of well being thinking you have better service now, or, better phones. In the end all of our bills will rise. This new monster should be slain AT&T-Mobile. AT&T bought T-Mo because they both utilize the a GSM freq/radios. Big Red (Verizon) and Sprint use CDMA. What worries me? Verizon watering it's mouth while looking at Sprint after they (Sprint) transition to LTE. It would be pretty effin easy to do then. When u have less choices, carriers can charge more because they say "we are all you have, pay us or pound the pavement" Maybe I'm a little salty after watching the movie "Inside Job" yesterday and seeing how this stuff really goes down. ....I weep for the future.

  • Lars of Berlin

    As an european i welcome this deal. Chances are, our T-Mobile networks will now get upgrades even sooner.

  • ryan

    And the two sh1ttiest carriers combine to form one, hugely-sh1tty carrier.

    • Eric

      Let me guess. You were one of these people that signed with TMo without doing your homework. If you are in a strong TMo market and don't travel there is not another cell provider that can touch them. I am in Atlanta and very rarely drop a call and I consistently get 6Mb down and 2up. I don't get charged for my hotspot and I don't have to worry about going over a certain data threshold and getting charged out the a$$ and their customer service is second to none. I have been with Sprint and Verizon and neither come close to Tmobile. I just fired ATT for my business because of numerous issues.

  • http://Facebook.com/lesterjohnny John Lester

    Honestly? I think this is a very good thing! Like just think about it T-Mobile already has the largest 4G network in America and by AT&T buying T-Mobile it just combines two great companies and creating a great one!!! In the end this will be a great thing..... JUST WATCH!

  • http://emaciatedwildebeest.tumblr.com Jeff

    I left AT&T years ago for T-Mobile. Now it looks like I'm right back on them. I just got my first Android phone (G2) in January, so I got one year to enjoy T-Mo, one year to suffer through AT&T again, then get the hell out. But where to go next? No idea. This sucks.

  • Kennedie

    Is this going to really be that bad? I heard it will actually be good for both companies but I don't really know I am a tmobile customer