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AT&T buys T-Mobile for $39 billion, to form America's largest carrier if the deal gets approved

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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AT&T buys T-Mobile for $39 billion, to form America's largest carrier if the deal gets approved
UPDATED: AT&T presentation slides, Deutsche Telekom's stake.

Now this makes much more sense - unlike the rumor that Sprint will be buying T-Mobile, it turned out that actually the carrier that uses the same GSM technology - AT&T - is buying Big Magenta, for $39 billion in cash and stocks.

Deutsche Telekom will receive $25 billion in cash, and $14 billion in stocks, some of which it will use to pay off debt and for share buybacks, plus it will get 8% stake in AT&T because of the stock portion. The German telecom acquired T-Mobile (previously VoiceStream), for $24 billion in 2001 - not as bad of a deal as some thought, it turns out.

It was the logical thing to happen ever since Deutsche Telekom put T-Mobile on the market. The buyout will add 34 million subscribers to AT&T's count, and create the largest US carrier with 130 million customers in a year's time, when the deal is expected to clear the red tape. If it gets the antitrust authorities approval, of course. AT&T is holding a press conference tomorrow to talk us into it, so we will tune it at 8am Eastern for the gulp of Kool-Aid, meant for the FCC, since all companies' boards involved have already approved it. If for some reason the deal doesn't go through, AT&T is on the hook to pay T-Mobile child support to the tune of $3 billion for the break-up, according to the agreement.

Well, at least now the 4G LTE plans will get a huge boost, when the 700MHz spectrum of AT&T, and T-Mo's AWS frequencies combine, and that's precisely what AT&T means to do, according to the press release. Combining both carriers' airwaves, it said, will allow the new GSM behemoth to reach 95% (294 million) of Americans with its upcoming LTE network - 46.5 million more than if AT&T was doing it alone.

From the presser: "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."

Here are some slides explaining the synergies, plus AT&T cherry-picking states to show us the brave new world we could live in as soon as next year:

AT&T buys T-Mobile for $39 billion, to form America's largest carrier if the deal gets approved
AT&T buys T-Mobile for $39 billion, to form America's largest carrier if the deal gets approved

AT&T buys T-Mobile for $39 billion, to form America's largest carrier if the deal gets approved
AT&T buys T-Mobile for $39 billion, to form America's largest carrier if the deal gets approved

AT&T buys T-Mobile for $39 billion, to form America's largest carrier if the deal gets approved
On the flip side, this probably will end T-Mo's tradition of being the bargain carrier. It might also take some phones off the portfolio of the resulting telco, due to overlapping, but, in that respect, manufacturers will do wonders with their newest handsets just to get the attention of America's biggest carrier, so it might all turn out for the better.

Not to mention the awards T-Mo has gotten on a more than few occasions for excellent customer service and overall satisfaction. Of course, everything is puppies and flowers, according to AT&T, which has inserted some twisted logic into a slide sure meant to appease Uncle Sam's antitrust regulators, but not really backed up by anything of substance, except for the timeline:

Verizon and Sprint are probably less than thrilled by this development. What do you think, will that surprise move stifle competition in the US, or will we benefit from the apparent synergies between the two GSM carriers?

source: AT&T

170 Comments
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posted on 20 Mar 2011, 15:55 13

1. BobbyTaba (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Aug 2010)


Verizon buy Sprint!

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:02 11

6. zafrir (Posts: 10; Member since: 31 Dec 2009)


I think that if AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile gets approved, Verizon will attempt to buy out Sprint. Verizon loves to be the top player in the cellular phone industry. I am not a big fan of buyouts, however. The less cellular phone companies there are to choose from, the fewer the choices which leads to higher prices.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 22:33 7

75. KParks23 (Posts: 462; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


The real question is what will happen with the NBA T-Mobile halftime report??????? NOOOOOOOOOOOO LOL

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 07:35 5

97. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)


It'll become the Blue Ball report haha.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 12:31 2

107. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


Another big carrier destroying a little one. lol I hope for T-Mobile's customers that this doesn't turn into what Sprint did to Nextel. :( NO BUENO!

posted on 30 Mar 2011, 13:02

168. Brook tmobile (unregistered)


I dont think you can consider a company like T-mobile to be a little carrier?!?!? When being bought for twice your value it must mean a little bit more then being a little company in the way of giants. little more respect for the magenta please.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 18:38 2

138. KParks23 (Posts: 462; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


LMAO... Welcome to the NBA AT&t Blue Ball report!

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 13:04 3

109. speakdatruth (Posts: 24; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Will D Wade and Sir Charles "Nucklehead" Barkley continue to be the official spokesmen.......

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 17:43 3

33. king ty (unregistered)


no way. Verizon might buy us cellular

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 22:29 3

74. KParks23 (Posts: 462; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


yea thats not going to happen sprint is getting better and better each year and with the phones and stuff they are coming with soon and switch to LTE! sprint is bigger than you all think the east coast is blanketed with service not sure why everyone is putting them down still?? get over it they sucked in the past but that was the past the last couple years with the new ceo they have really turned it around.... look at how MOTO was before the DROID 1

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 22:37 1

76. KParks23 (Posts: 462; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


On another note im kinda pissed look at the phones TMO and ATT got coming out INSPIRE 4G, G2X, HTC pyrimid..... man step it up verizon WTF

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 16:24

123. tboz (unregistered)


vzw has htc thunderbolt coming - which can do voice and data at the same time. also has driod bionic coming.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 18:39

139. KParks23 (Posts: 462; Member since: 13 Oct 2010)


MOTO sucks and tbolt is out already and has a sucky TFT screen and crap battery life

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 15:32

153. You Idiot (unregistered)


By the way, Sprint uses WiMax for 4g, not LTE you idiot.

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 17:57

155. Halcyon742 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Mar 2011)


Sprint is switching to LTE. Get your facts straight before you make yourself look like an idiot.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 15:59 6

2. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


YES THAT FLAMBING PIECE OF CRAP COMPANY IS DEAD!!!! FINALLY!!!

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:23 11

11. remixfa (Posts: 14169; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


hooray!! that company that kept winning customer service awards, while giving great service to many americans for nearly half the cost of ATT and VZW, while being faster than EVERYONE else, having the largest 4g network, as well as the most android phones with the least amount of carrier crap on them is dead!!!
Now EVERYONE can overpay for ATT service!!! woo hooo!!! yaaay!! Who needs unlimited everything for $79 with 21mb/s 4g when you can have.. non unlimited with 4gigs of service on a slower network for $145!?!?!
yaaaay!!
your right!! its awesome that the Evil Empire is absorbing them. Im sure that will be GREAT for cellular competition driving prices down!!!! Yup, VZW and ATT will have all sorts of reasons to NEVER lower their prices.


VZW wont buy sprint. However, either sprint or VZW will probably snag metroPCS for the bump in subscribers and the fact that they are all CDMA (and metro has LTE and sprint wants it)

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:46 2

20. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


weird how deucheland telecom sold to at&t even tho they didnt own the company huh?

they prices they had were too cheap, they didnt have the assets to roll out a real nationwide network. they kept prices down and they still were losing customers year over year.

lesson learned: customer service and pricing take a back seat to actually having a signal. t-mobile sucked and the industry is better without them. maybe metro or us cell will step up to #4. either way good riddance.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 07:07 3

92. remixfa (Posts: 14169; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


lol. ur funny. I have tmobile and i never have an issue with signal. 4g is a wonderful thing. If they dont work in ur area, too bad for u, but for those that are in the coverage, the service is great. I live in a metro area and even here ATT has the worst signal of the major carriers. They are the ones that suck. High prices dont mean high standards.

I have a 2000 mile round trip comming up this week, ill let ya know how "crappy" the service was... and im crossing the appalachian mountains twice.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 14:50

110. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


actually in about a year u have at&t. enjoy it.

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 22:02 1

157. remixfa (Posts: 14169; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


wrong, in a year ill have Tmobile with enhanced coverage area, as ill still be on my tmo phone, with my tmo employee plan, running my super fast tmo 4g network... but ill get the benefit of the larger calling area since thats the only thing ill be sharing with ATT. :)

looks like i win.

posted on 30 Mar 2011, 13:06 1

169. Brook tmobile (unregistered)


you sir have no clue what you are talking about. deutsch telekom does own t-mobile, and t-mobile is a nationwide service provider. Also their assets as well as profits have increased every year since they were established. sorry you had a bad run with them and probably couldnt pay their "cheap" prices. Good riddance to you i hope you enjoy your month to month boost phone!

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 15:59 1

3. thats asinine (unregistered)


is this at&t's way of getting 4g?

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:44

19. Arod (unregistered)


um ATT has more HSPA+ (4G) coverage than tmo they just dont advertise it as heavy. now theyll have a lot more in addition... awsome

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 15:45

119. jbash (Posts: 342; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


they have more HSPA+ but have no bandwith to make any descent numbers. maybe the crapple fans will see how fast their phones can go with a little spectrum in thier life.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:01

4. depeche (Posts: 61; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


I just left Sprint and joined T-mobile... I am not sure I am 100% happy with this.. Sprint will have to pick up the pace or they will be bought out as well.

At least VZW and Sprint are more compatable then not...


T-Mobile has the 1700mhz band with which will now either die out or be utilized AT&T

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:02 1

5. depeche (Posts: 61; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Yes, at least I have 4G for the Next 12 months

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 06:51 1

90. DaxDroid (unregistered)


4G??? Really ??? Just because they overclocking their network doesn't make them "4G"... Now VZW, Sprint, Metro PCS have either WiMax or LTE which in terms of network generations its 4G, not 3G on Steroids

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 21:55

156. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


LTE is 4G until it reaches 100 mbps but wait it hasn't, So there for its referred to PreLTE??? HSPA+, Wimax, LTE will soon reach 100 mbps so eventually HSPA+ will be 4G but for right now its Bull all carriers are selling you bull. Also, "Overclocking their network" atleast they are improving their speeds, stop hating.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:03 1

7. Tre-Nitty (Posts: 461; Member since: 16 Nov 2010)


Your late pa. Anyway att is a powerhouse and this makes their 4g transition easier.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:24 6

12. remixfa (Posts: 14169; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


ATT is a crap company that over charges for their *lack of* service, is consistantly last place in consumer rankings, and is actually more expencive than VZW for the privledge of dropping calls

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 14:50 2

111. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)


is there ever a time tre-nitty doesnt have down thumbs?

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 15:47 1

120. jbash (Posts: 342; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


lol i dont think so

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:05 6

8. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


BTW if Sprint is pissed they are idiots. They will get plenty of adds from people who dont want at&t and cant afford verizon, and they didnt have to spend $39 billion to do so. as someone who works for verizon im also quite happy as verizon being #2 puts us in ultra agressive mode. Faster 4g roll out, hopefully more time with unlimited data, maybe some plan changes. awesome for the consumer and most importantly those of us in sales. now i dont have to hear a single person complian that they dont need a data plan on t-mobile with their blackberry, or that their data is $10 a month.

may t-mobile rot in pieces.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 07:08 1

93. stilt (Posts: 63; Member since: 13 Jul 2008)


as a verizon sales rep that was well said. Every since we bought alltel I tonight we were gonna flourish in commission sales but when we bought alltel and 2 more verizon stores came to my city including walmart now have a total of five vzw stores competing with each other and the corparate store is really drivong me crazy my commission came from paying almost all my bill in one commission check down to having to hold my last pay check to help my commission check so I can pay rent smdh, and then they cheap and poor service straight talk comes to walmart and every other customer wants to know when there contracts ends cause they are gonna to straight talk, it getting ridiculous, I hope we buy us cellular.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:05

9. zafrir (Posts: 10; Member since: 31 Dec 2009)


Has this actually went through already? According to the sources I have been reading, it sounds like the buyout already went through. PA says that it is something that will happen pending approval. Which one is the correct answer?

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:25 1

14. remixfa (Posts: 14169; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the companies have agreed to merger. It will take about a year. It has to pass FCC first. There are dozens of hurdles for it.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:37 1

18. VZW Network manger (unregistered)


Both boards approved the deal (ATT and Tmobile) but the FCC has to look at the deal to assure it does not go over 95% coverage for the US. The FCC may make ATT sell off some of Tmobile to some other wireless companies

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:05 1

10. cellgeek82 (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Dec 2009)


Wow this will start a huge ripple in the wireless industry! Verizon may speed up 4G buildout because of this. Hehe I hope so anyway.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:25 2

13. Tottenham (Posts: 86; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


My daughter has T-Mobile and loves the customer service. I understand that is one of the low points for ATT. However, the infrastructure that the acquisition will add will definitely be a bonus for ATT customers. Let's hope that ATT has gotten the message from recent surveys and focus on that aspect of the business, as Sprint did after several years of sub-par ratings for their customer service. The biggest drawback to this purchase will be the diminution of competition in the US telecom market. A reduction in competion is seldom favorable for the consumer.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 20:45 1

60. Super Smart Guy (unregistered)


AT&T has the best customer service however they have the worst customer service ratings. This is due to the fact that they babysit 30 Million iPhone users who before last month made AT&T the whipping boy for every dropped call in the subway or every time they tried to upgrade early and AT&T tried to charge them a fair price.

Now that they have a choice between AT&T and Verizon they should complain less if they decide to stay and I expect the consumer reports surveys will reflect this. In the most recent consumer reports survey over 50% of the respondents were iPhone users.

Reasons AT&T has the best customer service:
Offers one re-rate to every customer that could save them thousands.

Offers early upgrades after 6 months for HALF the discount.

Average customer wait times RARELY go over 1 minute

Has dozens of exclusive customer service features like *NEW# that let you see if you are upgrade ready

Believes things like: The customer rules and don't stop helping until the customer is satisfied

Has made customer satisfaction its #1 priority with empoyees and even basis bonus on customer feedback surveys.

Its been like this the whole time.... for the last 4 years.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 15:34 1

117. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)


att has the worst rated customer service. verizon has the best. these are facts and are undisputable. whatever you are the article says in regards to att having the best consumer satisfaction in customer service is totally incorrect. this is good news for verizon customers. granted verizon is going to have to change their docket around, it will all benefit the customer in the end. great news for verizon current and new customers!!!!

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:30 3

15. VZW Network manger (unregistered)


VZW can't buy sprint without selling off some assets. VZW couldn't even buy all of Alltel. VZW network is as large as the FCC will allow at 95% and once the merge with ATT and Tmobile happens they will be in the same boat of 95% covage. So Sprint will be forced to float on there own or sink.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:34 2

16. coria791 (Posts: 21; Member since: 12 Jun 2010)


Why t-mobile after all the good companys out there you had to pick AT&T it would of been better if Sprint bought T-Moible it would turn out to be on the CDMA Network

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:37 1

17. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


I think T-Mobile customers will finally be able to have good and reliable coverages, however they'll be under AT&T's horrible customer service.

Now AT&T practically has a monopoly for GSM if that deal gets approved. If and when this goes through, I see no reason why anyone wouldn't let Verizon buyout Sprint, other than Sprint not wanting to be bought out.

The only people that are going to complain are the people who are going to have a lack of choice. And probably the small metro carriers.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:52 1

21. XxVerbalxX (unregistered)


signal monopolies dont mean crap. its INDUSTY monopolies. nextel was the only company using iden, government didnt have a problem with that. besides, even sprint is goin to LTE now so in a year or two none of this gsm monopoly crap matters

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 20:12

58. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Good point, but you know that there's people that would probably bring that up.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 23:05

80. djm22 (Posts: 27; Member since: 09 Feb 2011)


Sprint does not use LTE or and is not going to LTE right now they have thought about it but they use Wimax as there new network right now and the areas that have not changed yet use CDMA just like verizon

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 16:27 2

124. jbash (Posts: 342; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


Actually they have already began preperations for their LTE transition

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:53 2

22. aztaxia12295 (Posts: 266; Member since: 22 Nov 2009)


in the end, they'll still suck

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 16:56 3

23. TheGodfather (unregistered)


lmfao to all you CLOWNS who say your getting 4g service on t slowbill.....3 and a half G service is more like it.

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 17:32 4

30. codymws (Posts: 237; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)


Haha, now Verizon will get the name for the fastest 4G network.

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 22:06

159. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Verizon doesn't have 4G???? its has LTE but it hasnt passed the 100mbps in the real world that makes it 4G. Verizon is also 3.5G and Also Verizon has PreLTE not LTE(Again, its when it reaches the 100mbps mark)

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 07:10 3

94. remixfa (Posts: 14169; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the G2 in my household averages 7-10mb/s every day. Yup, thats some slowski stuff right there.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 17:25 1

131. Gsmalltheway (Posts: 154; Member since: 15 Aug 2009)


Well if 3.5G is faster then WiMax and Verizons LTE i will take that all day long

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 17:02 3

24. YouLostTheGame (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


Two bad carriers don't make a good one...

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 16:28

125. jbash (Posts: 342; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


Tmobile tried to be a good one, lol

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 17:27

132. Gsmalltheway (Posts: 154; Member since: 15 Aug 2009)


Yup nice guys always finish last. Gotta be a jerk and nickel and dime customers to death to get ahead

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 17:45

135. jbash (Posts: 342; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


so true so true

posted on 20 Mar 2011, 17:05 1

25. joey18 (Posts: 548; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


verizon and att are the same shiet why they dont lower those prices now tmo and att is going to be the end lower plans 112 for smart phone is too much this is america not third world country only rich people can have cell phone please think more to custumers than the money hungry people for example in mexico you buy a smartphone you only get data unlimited 30 tex 200 minutes voice for 70 dollars at month when people they only make 80 or 90 dollars at week shame on carlos slim wtf

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