Big news from the USA. Network operator AT&T has agreed to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock deal that’s worth around $39 billion (£24 billion). In addition, Deutsche Telekom will end up owning around 8% of AT&T. The joint venture will be the country’s largest mobile network in terms of customer numbers; AT&T is currently just ahead of Verizon, with Sprint third and T-Mobile fourth largest.
The merged company will have approaching 130 million customers.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and - if all goes to plan - will be finalised in around 12 months. Benefits are expected to include improved network coverage for customers of both companies.
Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T, said “This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future. 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.”
Until now, most acquisition rumours had suggested Sprint was considering a merger with T-Mobile.
[Merger website: www.MobilizeEverything.com]