A major deal just went down in the United States, which seriously shakes up the mobile industry on the other side of the pond: AT&T has announced it plans to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom.
We’re talking about an absolutely massive deal – AT&T will pay Deutsche Telekom 25 billion USD in cash, and 14 billion USD in AT&T stock, which would make Deutsche Telekom an 8% stakeholder in AT&T. The US market would look at a 130 million customer mobile provider.
“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s 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.”
“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,” added Deutsche Telekom CEO RenÃ© Obermann, “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.”
When I first read the news, I was a little nervous since I read it as if AT&T would buy T-Mobile, like, all over the world. I’ve been a very satisfied T-Mobile Netherlands consumer for 7 years now (been rocking the same sim card for seven years now), and the idea of the hated AT&T taking over my mobile operator made me go like this.
For now, I’m just wondering what this deal will mean for consumers in the US. You’d think AT&T’s primary concern is to fix its network, not deal with a massive bureaucratic nightmare like integrating two very large companies and customer bases. This deal also greatly reduces competition, which is also bad for consumers.
The deal has to get regulatory approval, so things might still fall through.
WORT WORT WORT???
I read this on /. when I got up earlier today. What a crappy thing to wake up to! I went to T-Mobile specifically to get away from AT&T’s crap while staying with GSM so I have a greater selection of devices. T-Mobile’s tech and billing support are much better than AT&T’s as well.
And the worst part? I just bought a Nokia N900 last month and have been loving the hell out of it. Now I fear the same thing that happened to phone compatibility when AT&T Wireless became Cingular, then became AT&T again, will happen now.