Dec 19 AT 4:46 PM Anthony Domanico 132 Comments

Breaking: AT&T ends its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA


AT&T issued a statement this afternoon announcing that AT&T and Deutsche Telekom have agreed to drop the merger bid, which had come under heavy scrutiny from the U.S. Government. AT&T and T-Mobile USA will agree to a roaming deal which will allow their phones to work on each other’s networks. In an official statement, AT&T stated:

The actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block this transaction do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry. It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world, with a mounting need for more spectrum that has not diminished and must be addressed immediately. The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.AT&T

AT&T will pay Deutsche Telekom the $4 Billion break-up fee that it had set aside earlier this quarter. We still don’t have any idea whether or not AT&T and Deutsche Telekom are pursuing a joint venture, though we expect that to be the most likely scenario at this time. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.


Source: Wall Street Journal

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    yess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buy t-mobile google!

    • damambt


    • Nick Gray

      Probably not going to happen. But as T-Mobile customer I am very happy to hear that AT&T is backing off. I’m very curious to know what the new roaming agreement will be. Will T-Mobile be able to roll out LTE phones which roam on AT&T’s network? That would be awesome!

      • BiGMERF

        everybody keeps saying buy tmobile google.. lol, its a pipe dream at best.. But I dont know how to eel about this. Could be good, or it could just spell down for tmo in the long run anyway

        • flamesbladeflcl

          but if google did by t-mobile they could maybe go back to the original plan for the nexus line. Sell the phones at an ad supported discount rather then discounted by contract

      • newmexican

        This is cause for celebration. Also interested about the roaming, though where I live (NM) AT&T coverage is not much better than TMO. I am more interested in Dishnetwork’s interest !

    • MJM128

      Or just have that money actually be reinvested in t-mobile USA.

      • Futureboy

        This is very unlikely. As reported, the $4B break-up fee consists of $3B in cash and spectrum rights. The cash is payable to Deutsche Telekom who no longer has any interest in being in business in the US, so the cash would most likely be invested into DT’s European market. It’s doubtful that US T-Mobile will see even a penny of that money.

        • ruvort

          That is a pretty sad reality :-\

    • Emmanuel Rodriguez

      that’s what I’m sayin

    • elijahblake

      As a longtime AT&T subscriber.. I really think this merger *Could* have been for both Tmobile and AT&T…

      Tmobile doesn’t have the resources or interest in building out a Nationwide LTE network, and AT&T doesn’t have enough spectrum to supply all the upcoming demand for data… so I truly believe this would have benefited us all with a far superior Network.. Not to mention the fact that we would have been a huge network and got way more awesome phones FIRST!!!

      Hopefully, they will still share the bandwidth and have essentially the same thing.. This will be the best case scenario because from what I understand they will be sharing frequencies and then the prices from both AT&T/Tmobile would be competitive???

      I guess only time will tell..

      • elijahblake

        *could* have been win/win…

      • inhuman

        All the unicorns and rainbow promises from an AT&T and T-Mobile merger always fail to mention a 100% going to happen prove rate increase to what T-Mobile customers are used to paying.
        Even if they let you keep your plan for a while, they will force you into the more expensive plans if you ever want a new phone.

        • inhuman


          PS. In layman’s terms : all that matters to most T-Mobile customers is lower priced plans than AT&T and Verizon.
          If I wanted better coverage and to pay more for plans I would have joined Verizon.

          • ruvort

            Not to mention it would have just been Verizon and At&t in the end…. lets face it, Sprint would have eventually died a slow death.

    • rocca

      T-mobile’s user audience and geographic penetration is low market position for Google and perfectly aligned with their family and low HHI positioning. It is time someone great like Google provides amazing solutions and a great OS to this market.

      What do you think about Microsoft making a play?

    • thechad

      G-Mobile has a nice ring to it.

  • McLovin

    Yeah for team T-Mobile!

    • mmmark111

      The mobile world would definitely feel a little empty without good ole magenta.

  • zyphbear

    Wow! Finally we get word about this. While I’m glad its finally gotten some kind of ending, I hope it doesn’t bite both of them in the butt.

    Let’s see if the “joint venture” will work out for them or not since they have such different pricing and customer service.

  • ranwanimator

    Huzzah! Now will Deutcshe Telecom reinvest the money they won in T-Mo?

    • penzor

      heh, douche telecom

    • Anthony Domanico

      anyone who thinks this is horribly wrong. That money’s going to Europe

      • ben steel

        Sure it’s wrong…if you’re an ATT customer….$3B cash $1B in spectrum goes to DT
        @ 100 million customers….ATT needs to find a way to squeeze another $40 per customer to make up for this blunder….be on the lookout for some increases on your Admin Fees
        For everyone else…I imagine it’s a good thing right….?
        Verizon was kinda forced to double their data on each of their plans….I doubt they did that out of the kindness of their heart… was the competition that forced them to do it…wasn’t it…?

    • Homncruse

      Simple answer: No.

    • elijahblake

      NOPE… Deutcshe Telecom has already stated they have no desire on building out their network here in the US.. Too much ground to cover with a spread out population..

      That’s why i don’t get why everyone was so against this…

      The best thing you guys can hope for now is that Tmobile and AT&T share networks.. And MAYBE tmobile will use the 4B then to help build out “their” combined network….

  • Thomas Biard

    Christmas come early? I think its a Christmas Miracle!

    • taketheleap

      Festivus miracle?

  • damambt


    😱 😱 😱 😱 😱 😱

  • jamal adam

    Took them long enough. Power to the Consumer!!

  • seven2k

    Funny how they never answered the governments questions about the merger creating jobs. When one of the things an acquisition does is keep 30% of the company its acquiring.

    • azswift

      Probably 30% of the overall payroll, mostly executives. You know the call center and store staff would have been gone quick!

  • Fabio R

    Like everybody knew this would happen

  • staryoshi

    I feel that the merger would have been bad for the industry and consumers, but at the same time I’m not happy to see $4bn leave the USA. Lose-lose situation… whoever proposed this acquisition had better of lost their job. :(

    • cvette83

      You would think more than one head would have to roll. $4B is a whole lot of dough to just give up with nothing to show for.

      • ben steel

        Not to mention the $ for the Lobbyists and the in house and outside Lawyer’s fees.
        My bet is that was a fair amount too.

  • Wilson Lara

    Don’t Know if this is Good or not. Only time will tell.

  • redraider133

    I see a lot of happy and relieved tmo employees and customers.

  • Gr8Ray

    HAHA!!! F*CK YOU AT&T!!!

    • Diaeko

      NOo fuck you verizon!

  • Shay D. Life

    This was one of those “I’ll be damned if I don’t” situations in my opinion. Some people left both carriers to get away from one or the other, and then here comes the scare of being pushed back into your pass lover’s arms by force. I also feel that such a huge monopoly over customers might throw the world off it’s axis. Just an opinion.

    • inviolable

      just an opinion that many share

      • Shay D. Life


    • damambt

      Congratualtions Mr.Life on winning the Captivate Glide! 😃

      • Shay D. Life

        Thank you.

  • inviolable

    First I win a transformer, and now this. Christmas twice already and its not even Christmas yet

    • damambt

      First, Kim Jong Il is dead and now this, Oh how i have lost hope in humanity 😢 😭 😝 💩 💤 💀

      • damambt

        Whoa, i was being sarcastic but i guess some people do love The Great Leader. Sorry if i offended anyone.

  • myandroid99


  • pekosROB

    I wonder how shareholders are going to take it. I wish I could incur a break up fee of $4 billion. Payable to me of course, not the other party!

  • tonis79

    I thought they already had a roaming partnership…I’m on Tmobile and I’ve roamed on AT&T quite a bit with no extra charges. Or does this mean the iIdiots will be clogging up all of Tmobile’s spectrum now? I’m glad the merger failed but I’m interested to see what comes of Tmobile.

  • ndub21

    Noooo! That $4 billion is going to come out of my pocket! Not amused AT&T!

  • Marc’us H.

    The only thing to take away from this as of RIGHT NOW, is that in 2012 you can use T-Mobile phones on AT&T’s network and vice versa. THAT enough is a win for the consumer, especially w/ the turnover on Android phones these days.

  • cvette83

    I’m happy the deal is off but T-Mobile is still in trouble unfortunately. Doesn’t seem like DT is investing much into T-Mobile any longer. It’ll be interesting how they end up using that breakup fee, even though most are pretty much in agreement that T-Mobile USA will not see much or any of that.

  • Galen20K


  • BrotherL

    AT&T should have never even tried, waste of time and money. Hopefully T-mobile can bounce back stronger than ever!

  • Torrance Barber

    Hip! Hip! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oscar Rivas

    I just hope the AT&T customers don’t slow me down! Lol!

  • dandroid4g

    I hope DT keeps T-mobile but if they dont i hope they get bought by someone like google XD

  • Jimmy13

    Best news I have gotten all day!

  • Andrea Cristiano Maietta

    You all think this is a plus? The money T-mobile is getting goes to the DT and DT has stated it’s not reinvesting in T-mobile USA. So that money goes nowhere to help t-mobile USA and in the end the only plus as of now is the roaming. T-mobile US will eventually go bankrupt and AT&T will buy the spectrum at a firehouse sale

    • redraider133

      But they do get 1b in spectrum which doesnt really need to be reinvested.

      • JustinUnderscore

        My thoughts exactly. If part of that fee is in radio spectrum, they (probably) can’t just take those frequencies and give them to their European companies. I’m thinking that part of it at least will have to go to T-Mobile. It will be interesting to see what they do with that.

  • cmorris

    the FCC actually did something right? I guess its a new age.

  • Jonny Cash

    T-Mobile will definitely win. T-Mo has three things AT&T will never have, customer service, low prices, and better QUALITY network. Once the dust settles, the iPhone loyals will realize how much they can save, all while earning a faster internet experience, and dealing with a positive customer service experience, while T-Mo will build upon a better network of their own.

    • azswift

      The new Iphone vs Amaze and Galaxy SII ads show that T-mobile expects that direction to be key.

      Great ads!

  • Nathan D.

    pink is way better then orange anyways :D

  • bellken

    great news for T-mobile employees, too

  • snowbdr89

    For some reason i have visions of the death star blowing

    • snowbdr89

      Up : )

  •!/profile.php?id=583695634&ref=profile rahuly2k7

    GREAT!!! Guess t-mobile will be my carrier for another 7 years! :)

  • ramenchef

    Thank god. Hopefully competition helps bring down wireless bills.

  • phor11

    Which begs the question:
    In this day and age, why do we allow corporations to own spectrum anyway?
    Why not regulate inter-operability provisions and roaming agreements instead so that there truly is a level playing field.

    The consumer would certainly stand to benefit a GREAT deal.

  • Marcus

    This might be a dumb question but does this mean that we can use T-Mobile phones on AT&T’s network without unlocking the phones?

    And I am glad to year that the merger is called off. I don’t think I would’ve liked what

    • azswift

      You’ll be able to use compatible T-mobile phones to send/receive calls on AT&T networks. T-mobile won’t need to build it’s network as extensively in areas that AT&T already has completed.

  • Marcus

    This might be a dumb question but does this mean that we can use T-Mobile phones on AT&T’s network without unlocking the phones?

    And I am glad to year that the merger is called off. I don’t think I would’ve liked what would happen if the deal went through. Now we wait and see what happens next…

    • olentz

      No. Unless TMobile starts to release phones with AT&T spectrum. The other way around is different, because TMobile is actually gaining spectrum from this deal. TMobile iPhone 3GS users on some part of the country have actually reported that they are now able to get 3G connection.

  • hokiewv

    It is good to have Sprint and T-Mobile around with unlimited data plans. Lets hope that T-Mobile uses that for differentiation and keeps it going.

    • hokiewv

      Wow, 2 down votes and no discussion. Am I wrong about current data plan offerings? I’m still using AT&T since I’m grandfathered in but am looking for alternatives.

  • ArticulateFool

    Great news!

  • Somebody

    Wow, isn’t that a surprise. <– sarcasm.

    This deal was doomed before it was ever announced. T-Mobile got EXACTLY what they were after. It was basically a case of "how are we going to get some STOOPID AMERICANS to hand over a sh**wad of dough?"

    Anybody who EVER though that this deal had a snowball's chance in hell of making it through all the regulators, was totally off their rocker. ATT: Congrats you morons. You gave the Germans $4 billion for nothing.

  • Jorge Eslava

    I hope the $4 billion was worth the loss of credibility, I’m not sure if the deal was related to this but customer service provided to me has been very low lately, I hope they change back to normal before republic wireless accepts more people or else i’ll have to switch.

    • Somebody

      Who lost credibility? ATT? Of course.
      Not tmobile though, they GAINED credibility by VERY successfully screwing over ATT.

  • cwjones4

    Glad to see this deal get blocked, as it would have essentially made the it a 2 horse race in the for service providers in the US. More provider, more choices, can’t go wrong

  • Ichigo

    That is so awesome! AT&T sucks balls.

  • soggynapkin

    Sweet. Definitely dodged the bullet so far, however the joint venture actually sounds probable, provided that it doesn’t scree the customer.

  • BigCiX

    Well looks like us customers of at&t will see fees go up.

  • jimtravis

    Hopefully, good for consumer when all the dust has settled. Never should have agreed to such a large breakup fee.

  • droiddewd

    Glad to finally see this done. Though it looked that way for quite awhile. Sorry to ATT customers who are gonna have to clean up the 4 billion $ loss

  • Lee Swanson

    There are all ready too few companies. My original cell phone company (which I really liked) got bought out by Alltel (which was pretty good) which got bought out by Verizon.

  • Wasabi

    Way to go T-Mo! One damn happy long time (since Voicestream) customer here. Never liked the evil empire, never will.

  • the5thdimension

    Definitely happy that this acquisition didn’t go through, but now what? DT has made it pretty clear that they no longer have any interest in doing business in the US. T-Mobile USA will not see a dime of that 4 billion. T-Mobile’s future is still unclear and as a long time customer, that still leaves me a bit uneasy.

    Update: Google buys T-Mobile and offers 32GB Galaxy Nexus devices for free with 2 year contract!

    A guy can dream can’t he?

    • azswift

      If your gonna dream, then go for the surpise announcement of a FREE 64gb, quad-core version!

  • NasLAU

    Let us rejoice temporarily until we are faced with “what now?”. Merry Christmas!

  • mclarensr

    I am with AT&T, switched form Verizon. Not much impact for me. Good for competition.

    • azswift

      Don’t you expect your rates to increase significantly?

  • kungpaodragon

    A pretty good way to make $4 billion dollars…

  • Sean the Electrofreak

    All I hear from AT&T is the waaaaaaambulance. They’re rated worst in wireless satisfaction and now they’re probably going to hike their prices.

    Sorry, I have no sympathy. They rode on top of iPhone exclusivity for years making money hand over fist. Should have invested that in their network, shouldn’t they!

  • Louis A

    Bad news for at&t and tmobile customers. This only mean one thing, price hicks and fees lol

  • Andrea Cristiano Maietta

    here you go all you anti merger happy, non, business understanding simpletons. This is T-Mobiles, future….wait there is none

  • teecruz

    +1 my comment if you are happy about this new! (I mainly need points for tonight’s contest.) lol

  • olentz

    WE ARE SAVED !!!

  • spintrex

    Don’t be fooled the Death Star wasn’t completely destroyed the first time…. they’ll be back..

  • xfaith

    I still have my unlimited data on ATT so I am sticking with them, I hope I dont see any crazy “new taxes” added to my plans in the coming months. I have no current plans to make any changes to my current setup except get a new phone when my contract is up, will see how that will pan out.

  • oxy

    Hooray for the little guy and consumers and competition.

  • donger


  • Adryan maldonado

    Looking foward to more updates

  • Alex Pena

    I bet T-Mo is really enjoying that 4 billion.

  • protozeloz

    YES!!!!! :D

  • nctrns

    The question now is, what Deutsche Telekom will do with that money? Will they use it to build out T-Mobile’s infrastructure and make it more competitive, or use it somewhere in Europe or for dividends and bonuses at the parent company?

  • Jeremy Johns

    Good. The less carriers the less competition and the higher the already TOO HIGH rates we will pay for data, talk, and text

  • Baron Munchausen

    Now Tmobile is just in limbo..and if any one else tries to buy the company you know AT&T will be there over the FCC shoulder and start quoting the same thing that the FCC told them to tell the other companies..

    Tmobile is more of less dead in my opinion.

  • Donald Williams

    Long live Tmobile. I wonder how many jumped ship might come back? Either way Im happy with the magenta service

  • minimage

    I am a T-Mobile customer, PRECISELY became I do not want to be an AT&T customer, so fabulous. Let someone else own them.

  • minimage

    And to the individual calling names and questioning knowledge: “T-Mobile is probably going to be profoundly damaged by this,” Mr. Kuittinen said. “They should have done some strategic rethinking instead of chasing this mirage, this dream of a merger. Now they’ve lost a lot of time.” In other words, the article you point to implies that T-Mobile’s barking up the wrong tree got them into trouble, that they never should have bothered with the merger nonsense.

  • nivekkev

    I would still be afraid, since Deutsche Telekom has made it crystal clear they do not want T-Mobile USA, they got paid, now they could be ready to sell to anyone else who wants in just to dump it know the deal would go through and that may not be such a good thing, may have been better off with AT&T. Just something to think about…


    As a T-Mobile customer I would like a Million of that 3 Billion gotta pay the bills ya know ;-)

  • humidity

    Woo hoo!

  • Andy_jr

    Here’s hoping they come to some arrangement where T-Mobile can remain a viable competitor…

  • Sarah Harkness

    As a T-Mobile customer in an area where T-Mobile service is SOMETIMES great and SOMETIMES awful, I was really looking forward to the merge between AT&T and T-Mobile. I previously had AT&T and enjoyed it, but switched to T-Mobile almost 2 years ago because my boyfriend had to have the HD2. It’s been a constant disappointment and I can’t wait for my contract to be over so I can move to another carrier.

  • d

    sigh so tmobile customers are now SOL. tie to jump ship looks like sprint is about to be bombarded with android wifi-teather skaters out there. t-mobile has been terrible for years its very clear they want out so who will knock at there door . please don’t say clear or lightsqared otherwise it will be like the blind leading the blind.

  • msss88

    t-mobile, google and dish network need to team up, and finally crush the soul-stealing greedy verizon and at&t. oh and buy cricket in the process, cant let them come up with those zte phones

    • azswift


      Dish-Network buys T-mobile, offers select customer FREE unlimited high-speed internet and uses that as the backbone of their new cell-phone infrastructure. Cell phone “towers” on dishes all over the country.

  • curtis206

    you had to see this coming…

  • kimminer1

    wow att didn’t get their way … whew

  • Shayla Ferguson

    My christmas wish has been granted!

  • madtnotn

    I am excited this did not happen, but also curious to see where things go now.

  • azswift

    It may not be smooth sailing for T-mobile customer, but our rates won’t jump as much and the service will probably stay better than if the deal went through.

  • alexanderharri3

    Nothing else to say but….expected…

    But T-Mobile at the hands of D-T that doesn’t want T-Mobile anymore….well sinking ship

  • merlintw

    Be so much better if someone like US Cellular or something got hold of TMobile. Someone who could add to competition instead of destroying it.

  • AndyNguyen36

    And yet I’m still stuck with an AT&T plan. Definitely planning on switching out soon.