back to article AT&T acquires T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39bn

AT&T has agreed to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $39 billion. AT&T operates what is arguably the largest wireless network in the US, with about 95.5 million subscribers, while T-Mobile runs the fourth largest, with 23 million. Both networks are based on the same GSM …


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  1. Goldberg


    Verizon is finished.

  2. Old Handle

    Wow. That sucks.

    T-Mobile was the only cellular company that was actually kind of decent.

    1. Graham Lockley

      +1 on that

      Now they are being borged into Orange here in the UK I have to wonder where to go next. Certainly the 'marriage made in Hell' that we will have to suffer in the UK means that I am going to struggle to find a decent mobile provider in the years to come. NOTHING will convince me to stay once they have been absorbed by the bunch of thieves at Orange.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      T-Mobile got what they deserve

      I tried to buy a couple of Nexus S phones last month and to switch carriers from Sprint to T-Mobile after spending 10 years with Nextel/Sprint.. The words "goat screw" don't even come close to describing the T-Mobile approach to this ... basically they did not want my business and after a week of getting nowhere with them, I bought the phones for cash (unlocked) and walked over to the AT&T store and got them signed up inside an hour.

      If they are like that in the sales department, what must customer service be like?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    flasback to 1950's....

    Quickly tommy - before ze Germans get here!

    circa 2011 : Yo - dude the Germans are here!

  4. Levente Szileszky

    We are SOOOO ***d now...

    ...that's unbelievable: TMO is THE ONLY provider with EXCELLENT CUSTOER SERVICE, correct and precise billing and fastest data service (hicks in the sticks excluded, sorry - but they can put an oversized antenna on their pickup trucks anyway.)

    God, this is RELLY-REALLY BAD news. :(:(:(

  5. OkKTY8KK5U


    So much for being the only person I know who never really had any complaints about my cellular service. As a T-Mobile subscriber, I suppose now I need to prepare to assume the position.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wishes and fishes

    I certainly hope that the FCC and SEC disallow this monopolistic merger. Talk about reducing competition! I am an AT&T customer, and I was seriously considering switching to T-Mobile (I have 2 Android Nexus One phones - one tuned for AT&T and the other for T-Mobile), but now I will wait. AT&T is the pits, in my opinion. Their coverage sucks, their customer support sucks, and their attitude toward their customers sucks! If my wife didn't love her iPhone, we would have dropped AT&T already!

    1. Anton Ivanov

      This has even bigger implications in telco and telco supplier land

      T-mobile USA has always been the odd man out in ex-Deutche Telecom.

      It was the only bit not to sign up to the LTE bandwagon and looked at HSPA+ instead. It was the first GSM company to try to deploy cell-over-ip architecture which we now refer to as femtocells (long before it was called femtocell). It did things differently in more than one way and being a reasonable size carrier this helped maintain a healthy variety in the supplier market.

      ATT eating them means that now there will be only one significant odd-man-out worlwide (Hutchinson) that has not jumped onto the 3GPP Enhanced Packet Core bandwagon (Verizon is already there, Spring is aligning towards that as well).

      That will end up with profound consequences in terms of equipment, network and service choice which go way outside the USA boundaries. In the long term these will bite the consumer much worse than any "Oh my god, ATT service or iPhone users ate my bandwidth" problems.

  7. Lance 3


    Expect in the near future to hear that Verizon Wireless is buying Sprint or Metro PCS.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Imo, any telco that requires one to pay extra for tethering when I'm already paying for data is a fail.

    Bring every part of America into the digital age? How the hell are they going to do that if their last excuse was "data network so congested that it can't even handle tethering"?

  9. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I called AT&T about this

    I spoke to a very nice man and asked him if the would really improve the quality of phone calls on the AT&T network. He assured me that it would saying, "Let me just say th5772$%^$ in futu^*()_()__ will VGIUVEkl6t78612!#@~ and that's all the this +|+(*&%^&^%JHjkg is about"

  10. Eddy Ito
    Thumb Down

    Oh shit!

    Damn, here I thought I was safe from all the bandwidth sucki^W^W iPhone types. Time to check... oh double shit, Sprint bought Virgin's US operations a few years ago. All I can say is if Verizon buys Sprint, mobile choices are going to look a lot like election day. Meaning you get to choose between mayo and mustard but you're still getting a shit sandwich.

  11. Adam Comben

    Where does this leave...

    T-Orange in the UK?

    As an orange contract mobile phone customer, this is obviously going to affect us over in blighty, but to what degree?

    1. Chad H.

      Won't effect you at all

      What you're seeing in the US is the Torrange merger part 2: TAT&T.

      Shouldn't effect you in the slightest - even if you were roaming in the US thanks to it's strange frequencies you'd be more likely to roam onto at&t's 3G than T's.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give me break . . .

    . . . TMobile was the worst phone service I have ever had. Bad phone connections, billing was always a nightmare, over charging me and taking months for refunds. And now by taking them out of the loop there goes AT&T's competition. Prices will go up.

    But now TM kids can get iPhones.

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Marriage of the genetically deficient

    T-Mobile had customer service so bad, I avoided cell phones for 3 years afterward. They charged me for an in-warranty replacement phone and there was nothing I could do about it. My friends hate AT&T customer service, and their poor coverage.

    At least T-Mobile is dead now. Thank god.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You think so?

      T-Mobile will be a virus spread to AT&T. Or is it the other way around?

  14. fishman

    Sprint is next

    Sprint will be the next major carrier to be bought, leaving us with either Verizon or AT&T. Then watch the rates go up.

  15. Blake St. Claire
    Thumb Down


    Had AT&T phones for several years and could never get a signal inside my house. Switched to TMO and never had a problem.

    OTOH I had AT&T Callvantage VOIP and never had a problem. When AT&T exited the VOIP business I went with TMO's VOIP. It doesn't have half the features that AT&T had and it loses its brain periodically. Once the VOIP part of the router died and I spent two months arguing with TMO customer service -- this line quality has been fine for years with AT&T and you, my internal wiring is fine, etc., etc -- before they would finally replace the router under the warrantee.

    I hope AT&T decides to dump the VOIP quick so I can port my landline to gvoice and not have to wait until October when my two year contract on the VOIP is up. I probably won't be so lucky.

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "Achieve the President’s goals for <whatever improved> America.”

    This fascistic mindset of hailing the commander in chief and pledging to fulfill his goals is distasteful in the extreme.

    But isn't this the company that is tripping over itself to provide no-questions-asked wiretapping access to the various spook empires currently in activity?

    1. MinionZero

      Money and Power

      @"But isn't this the company that is tripping over itself to provide no-questions-asked wiretapping access"

      No-questions-asked wiretapping access for government, no-questions-asked monopolistic merger for AT&T.

      Money and Power corruptly working together since the dawn of money. :(

  17. kns2c

    I hope this gets blocked by the FCC (yeah right)

    T-Mobile is the only carrier offering a decent PAYG service with no strings attached. That will most likely be dead after the merger. They will probably "grandfather" contracts, but prepaid users are screwed.

  18. Conrad Longmore

    Driving innovation..

    It always looked to be that T-Mobile was driving innovation (especially with handsets) in the US.. simply by using its worldwide experience in the US market to do things differently. In terms of competition, T-Mobile has been a quite positive force in the US.

    Perhaps AT&T keenness to get T-Mobile is something to do with Verizon poaching iPhone customers and theatening AT&T's #1 spot?

  19. thomas k.
    Thumb Down

    Time to cancel ...

    my TMO $40 a mo. unlimited data plan on my N900 before AT&T does it for me.

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