It’s Over, AT&T Drops Bid To Purchase T-Mobile, Will Pay Break-Up Fee

Here it is TmoNews readers and T-Mobile lovers, the news we’ve all been waiting for, hoping to hear and believing in. AT&T has dropped their bid to buy T-Mobile USA and will pay Deutsche Telekom the $4 billion dollar break-up fee. That’s one hell of a price for a bad first date. Viva la T-Mobile.

AT&T will pay a total of $3 billion in cash plus around $1 billion in spectrum and the two carriers will now agree to a roaming deal allowing devices for each network to work on each others. Sounds like we might see more of this.

Let’s get right to the official statements and we’ll revisit the next step in our next post.

AT&T released a brief statement announcing the end of merger talks:

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said today that after a thorough review of options it has agreed with Deutsche Telekom AG to end its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA, which began in March of this year.

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 will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “Over the past four years we have invested more in our networks than any other U.S. company. As a result, today we deliver best-in-class mobile broadband speeds – connecting smartphones, tablets and emerging devices at a record pace – and we are well under way with our nationwide 4G LTE deployment.

“To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest,” Stephenson said. “However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs.

“The mobile Internet is a dynamic industry that can be a critical driver in restoring American economic growth and job creation, but only if companies are allowed to react quickly to customer needs and market forces,” Stephenson said.

To reflect the break-up considerations due Deutsche Telekom, AT&T will recognize a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion in the 4th quarter of 2011. Additionally, AT&T will enter a mutually beneficial roaming agreement with Deutsche Telekom.

That’s not all we’ve got for you though as we’re TmoNews so we’re bringing you the internal statement from Philip Humm, T-Mobile CEO announcing the end of the deal before T-Mobile’s 37,000+ employees:

Dear colleagues,

Today AT&T and Deutsche Telekom announced they have mutually decided to terminate their agreement for AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA. This announcement effectively ends the acquisition process launched March 20, including the regulatory approvals process with the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. Additionally, with the termination of the agreement, T-Mobile will receive certain spectrum licenses and a 3G roaming agreement from AT&T, and AT&T will pay $3B to our parent company, Deutsche Telekom.

What does this mean for T-Mobile USA? Our Challenger Strategy continues as before, with energy and focus. We have seen early successes with our great 4G network, affordable unlimited rate plans and strong Android portfolio. We now have an exciting chance to build upon these and other strengths to bring our business to the next level of success and beyond. We have an opportunity to write our own future – making the latest mobile products and services affordable to more people. We call it “4G for All.” We’ll continue on this path through 4G network leadership, affordable smartphones, being a trusted brand, evolving as a multi-segment player, and executing our Challenger business model.

The leadership team and I will be meeting intensively in the next few weeks on our go-forward plans for the business, to identify and map out any and all options to further strengthen our strategy and prospects for the future.

I know you also want to know what this means in terms of retention bonuses and other details that impact you personally. I promise to make that information available to you in the coming days and weeks on OneVoice and through your leaders.

Most importantly, I want to thank you for the amazing effort and focus each of you put into the business over the last nine months following the acquisition announcement. You performed well under extraordinarily unusual circumstances. Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support.

Let’s now go into the new year and show everyone we are, indeed, ready to be Challengers!

With sincere appreciation,

Philipp Humm

CEO & President

T-Mobile USA

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  • Anonymous

    cant wait for my retention bonus now! w00t

  • MemphisPapa

    Looks like Doofenshmirts (Randall Stephenson) will need to revisit the plans for his AT&Tenator! 

  • Ejsorto

    Halleluya!!!!…church bells ringing!!!

  • Anonymous

    Humm’s response makes him sound like technocrat. No sour grapes from him?

    Meanwhile, I hope this means a return of EM+.

    Sucks (in your wallet) to be some of you that ditched T-Mobile early for AT&T or Verizon.

    • Ogden Wernstrom

      It’s the statement to employees, silly. Did you honestly think there would even be a hint of negativity?

  • Anonymous

    Bravo to the Feds for standing up for consumers, who are finally noticing that AT&T and Verizon = The Most Expensive Wireless Plans in America. We know where Verizon and AT&T (both in the top 5 for corporate lobbying) get all that money to run commercials 24×7, pay out huge “fat cat” executive bonuses and hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists to try to push the U.S. market into a wireless industry duopoly — the American consumer.

    According to the report “Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10,” two of the 25 companies with the largest total tax subsidies were AT&T at #2 ($14.5 billion) and Verizon at #3 ($12.3 billion). Also, there were 30 corporations that paid less than nothing in aggregate federal income taxes over the same period. These 30 companies, whose pretax U.S. profits totaled $160 billion over the three years, included Verizon. The report states the laws that allow this were not enacted in a vacuum, but rather were adopted in response to relentless corporate lobbying, threats and campaign support.

  • BigMixxx

    3 billion to the bottom line for DT, a 7 year contract in roaming agreements.

    Celebrate right now t mobile, but serious, really SERIOUS planning should kick in…..
    Marketing strategies, flood the market with sales, commercials, etc, etc get your customers back….

    • Wilma Flintstone


    • Realcool2000


    • Phonegeek

      I concur

  • Plympton

    I want to know when this roaming agreement goes into effect.  I paid full-boat for an unlocked iPhone 4S that needs some AT&T 3G lovin’… though, wait… AT&T’s 3G sucks so bad that’s why I left AT&T… hmmmmm… how’s that going to work?

  • NYer

    With the spectrum sharing, will unlocked iPhones work on 3G?

    • Anonymous

      yes, you’ll be able to take it to tmobile and it will roam and get AT&T 3G network access


    Yeeaahhh! What a great Christmas present. :-D I really hope this was DTs plan all along… figuring that if the deal fell through they would get a nice little bonus. Now that it’s all said and done let’s ring in the new year and compete with the rest of them. We need to get our JD Power awards back, keep the prices low, and get an iphone to make everyone happy. This is the new Tmobile. Now to hear some news from DT and what their plans are. Hopefully they will admit that leaving the US business is not a wise decision and that they will continue to fund Tmobile USA… committing to being the best national value carrier in the US and focusing on getting back on track in 2012.

  • Anthonynyc1a

    Yes yes finally this is over,this is a very amazing good news for all us,l wanna thank you to the Doj ,Fcc and also T-mobile,l love tmobile,merry christmas to every one.

  • Anonymous

    Can I get my T-Mobile iPhone now?

    • Creolecousin

      a tmobile iphone will never happen…….apple wont build the chipset for our 3G/4G bands

      • Dpro

        you obviously do not know what you are talking about. The Iphone 4S already has the radio chipset in it that it needs. It just needs to be tweaked to the frequencies and the antenna’s adjusted.  That was posted in a earlier thread.

      • Littlesis1774

        well apparently that already happen

    • DetroitTechnoFan

      It already exists, apparently! Check the earlier article about iphones running on our network :)

  • Silk7412

    Pack it in att and let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. !!

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if there’s any chance at all, even a slim one, that Tmo will fix customer service. It has been nothing short of jacked up since this whole merger process began. It is so annoying and irritating to be forced to go through automated option after automated option just to talk to a live person. I don’t have to call customer service often, which is a blessing, but when I do it’s so frustrating.

    They have a lot of things that they need to fix but if they’re smart, they will start by improving their level of service for those of us who provide them with their paychecks and bonuses.

    • Anonymous

      they probably will, if there’s a trend there that things are turning sour. Although i’ve called several times and haven’t had issues.

      • Anonymous

        Me either,the most I had to wait before someone pick up was like 5mins.

    • Th3problem17

      highly doubt the automated system will go anywhere, when it’s the basis of major companies use for phone customer service, good luck calling a big company and the phone ringing and a person picking up.

    • The Big Daddy Bear

      If you take a few seconds to actually go through the automated system a little bit you will find that you can easily get to a service agent after just answering the first one or two questions prompted by the system. Not to mention that the majority of things you have to do can be done through the automated system. Its just people that dont listen to the system and press 0 repeatedly that have the most issues. 

      • Realcool2000

        Totally agree, when I got on the value plan a couple of months ago I had no problem getting thru to customer service. In fact its never a problem. I think these complainers just don’t know how to follow directions.

    • Lcc1_

      not only that…they have u waiting FOREVER!! They need to get back in the “voted by JD Power as having the best cust serv”…This and great price plans kept me w/TMo forever

    • Respawn

      Try something very simple. You ready? First, go through the first couple of options. Then say “representative.” Works wonders.

      Besides, using the automated system is faster and better. Why would you want to talk to a live person unless there’s a REAL problem? Some people are so set in their 1990s mentality that they’ll go to the grave wanting to speak to a customer service representative and then a supervisor about the discomfort of their coffins.

  • Anonymous

    Jedi’s win the Death Star will not be completed as planned.

  • Jarrod

    When do the roaming agreements start? Is there any details? I’m ready tO go off betwork and have a Internet warming party XD !!!

    • Gwapo

      I hope it will start tomorrow!!!!

    • Maschwar77

      I hope the roaming agreements trickle down to prepaid customers.  I mean, even if not the coverage is still outstanding for prepaid.

    • Rudy Belova

      I somehow have a feeling we still won’t have in market roaming. But, in areas where the at&t 3g/4g network reaches farther out than t-mobile, would have coverage. The At&t 3g network reaches a lot more places than the t-mobile 3g network. (Granted the t-mobile hspa+ network is faster)

      That and right now, prepaid accounts and webconnect devices (tablets, netbooks, usb sticks, etc) don’t include any data roaming… AT ALL. So i somehow doubt this will change.

  • Jarrod

    This is good I got a iPhone 3GS this means I wot have to go with out 3G possibly when I need it

  • Anonymous

    we’ve already been trough this, Dish Network’s wireless brand is going to be Ollo whether they hook up with Tmobile or not remains to be seen. They’re already cheaper than DirecTV

  • Anonymous

    How many here believe that T-Mobile will exist as a brand in 2013?

    • J. Williams

      They will

      • Gwapo

        They will still be here for another 3 DECADES!!!!

    • DetroitTechnoFan

      I do!

    • Anonymous

      T-mobile will be here long after you are laid to rest….

      • Spooln3

        lol? go back under your bridge troll.

        • Nikki

          Lmao! Seems the pot *THINKS* he has found the kettle and is calling it black.

    • Realcool2000

      I believe that t mobile will be in business in 2013:

  • EEEE

    T-Mobile is stronger than ever!!!! We are a huge asset and have what noone else has!!! ATT PAYUS!~

  • Anonymous

    I really wonder what happens if T-Mobile introduces a new plan that is even lower price than the value plan now?

    For example, reintroduced a no contract plan that is cheaper than their value plan. :D

    • Giraffe

      Will not happen.  Promise.

  • Happyeee

    The best news is the roaming on a shared spectrum agreement…this could be huge. More people may end up on tmobile because of this. It way cheaper. Places like the united states virgin islands don’t even have tmobile but will now get service.

  • Tbyrne

    First off, I think huge props need to go to David here at TmoNews. There’s no doubt that all the sweat he’s put into this site that’s all things T-Mobile, has paid off big time for all us loyal customers & employees. The Death Star is gone and our parent company has got 4 Billion, yes that’s right, 4 Billion to hopefully build us up even more and make TMOUS a bigger force to be reckoned with. Happy days are here again.

    • Phonegeek

      Yeah david and staff seriously thank you for keeping us in the know. We definitely appreciate it friend, guys deserve a round on us. Please wait until I get paid LOL. Seriously though …thank you.

  • The Big Daddy Bear

    *Continues waiting patiently to hear from all the people who swore up and down and bet their left testicle that this deal was already done under the table in FCC backrooms and that everything else was just show*

  • Anonymous

    Report from the front! The death star has been destroy! I repeat,news from the front! The death star has been destroy!

  • Maschwar77

    This gives me some renewed faith that government is not fully bought by industry.  Kudos to the FCC and the DoJ for making the right call on this one.  As a T-Mobile customer, this could not be better news to my ears.

  • Havoktek

    Hot DAMN!……popcorn all done….Thanks TMO news and David for keeping us in the know.
    Now as the Empire has left Endore……..shall we continue to build and renew?

  • justsaying

    this is great news!!!!!!!!! I signed up for a new contract on july putting up all my hopes that this gross deal would not happen, and guess what it did nooot!. F att and all its BS wee need 4 big carriers or more say good bye to your dreamed gsm empire and monopolizing tactics att you will not rule a thing you are going down (I hate att) . I hope DT will come with better plans this time and use wisely those B$$

  • Wilma Flintstone


    Now I know you all are used to seeing me giddy with glee over MeeGo but since it’s been Dropped like a bad habit by Nokia and Picked up like a Good Habit from Samsung, (LOL!!!  I just had to make that phrase work somehow LOL!!!), I’m giddy with Glee over it’s evolved HTML5 form named Tizen.

    Enough about that though, this is a Celebration from me about this Tmobile USA (SCREW YOU DEUTSCHE TELEKOM!!!)!!!  Now in the spirit of Me and MeeGo:


    First off, I’d like to say HOLY TOLEDO COWABUNGA BATRIPPING CHEVY NOVA’S WONDER WOMAN!!!!!!!  THIS HAS TO BE SOME OF THE GREATEST NEWS OF THIS YEAR (Outside of My favorite Fighting game series being named Best Fighter of 2011 by Gamespot KING OF FIGHTERS 13!!!!)!!!!!!!!  AT&Trash dropped the bid for T-Mobile US!!!!!  WE ARE SAVEDDD!!!!!!!!!  WWOOOOOHHHHOHOHOHOHOHOHHHOHOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just in time for CHRISTMAS!!!!!  I can now buy me that GS2 in White and NOT worry about, I hope AT&T don’t get this deal turned around some kind of way.  THIS NEWS IS JUST, JUST, *FLIES INTO HIPPIELAND With Funkadelic Music and the Scooby Doo Gang* YEEEEESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  JUST SIMPLY!!!!!


    Ahh, the delight and joy, wonderment, and bliss that is the dropping of that bid.

    The Deal is now dead
    Straight up hole in the head
    CEO’s upset
    Now they Faces are Red
    They Jaws dropped when they heard the news
    Out of Disbelief
    is exactly why they singing the blues
    The Bid straight went
    the way of the consumer
    Goin all in
    Like the King as the Ruler
    ATT had to back that noise up
    We as the consumer
    had the guts to Voice up
    Now as I end this verse
    of this song
    I’m passin the Mic
    to my Homey  @pimpstrong:disqus

    Oooohhhhh, Chatter where you at Fam?  Bimmerz where you at?
    We Goin in, We goin in, We Goin in, Tell ATT we da truth, We Goin in!!!

    Get in this David, bust a flow too
    David, David, David, David, David (crowd cheering)

    • Phonegeek

      Only you wilma, everyone lets rate this comment as comment of the year lol. I could never top the creativity of this comment, made me feel like dancing. Cmon David join in the festivities!!

    • Anonymous

      Ahh man you done called me out
      Skimmin’ through the page see you scream and shout
      Somehow I knew that I would see my name
      But I didn’t know that I would be joinin’ the game

      Late last night I had to check my Pulse    (<– that's an app)
      To my surprise AT&T's white flag was tossed
      When it came to the deal yes I repulse
      And I'm just glad Death Star paid the cost

      The deal went from easy bread
      To swiss cheese instead
      The holes got too big
      Now they steeze is dead

      Yeah yeah now that's a big deal 
      Question is will DT do just what they feel
      Let us use the spectrum and money get consealed
      Or will they keep it real only time will reveal

      We need that money to keep this thing goin'
      A BILLI worth of spectrum will keep the map growin'
      HSPA+ shows no signs of slowin'
      The towel we'll never throw in.

  • Guest

    hmmm, now I can get that AT&T phone & plan even cheaper with them. TY
    I don’t Tmo will be sharing the winnings w/ their subscribers though. OUCH

  • R.I.P. T-mobile, YOU SUCK! :)

    This termination will not hurt AT&T! T-mobile sucks and AT&T has billions and billions of dollars.  If we were to compare t-mobile to AT&T its just like comparing an ant to a human. T-mobile has sucked for a long time, and they are unreliable.  when I worked for that stupid company, all they did was outsource and hire idiots who would read off of screens, which led to b*tching customers running into my store and wanting us to fix that crappy dropped calls fake 4G network.  I am so happy I’m not affiliated with t-mobile anymore.  I now have less stress and I get paid more. I now have AT&T service and they are great and knowledgeable. AT&T has over 100 million customers and their strategy is to take over.  IT WILL HAPPEN! T-mobile will feel the Rockefeller effect! “if you don’t wanna join, then just die a painful death!” R.I.P. T-MOBILE you are not Jesus and you will not be resurrecting so GO TO HELL!! 

    • jon

      Bitter ex-employees make for very entertaining reads..I literally laughed out loud reading this post. :sarcasm: I am sure the grass is greener wherever you are. Clearly it must be….I mean, I know I’d hang out on a fan-site of my ex-employer if life was peachy. :sarcasm:

      • rip Tmobile you suck

        Life is peachy Jon! I am glad I don’t have to deal with trashy and complaining customers like you anymore. Hallelujurr

        • jon

          I am not a customer. I am the husband of a call center manager. (You probably hate me more because someone like my wife walked you to human resources. And as you sat clueless in HR, someone like my wife walked back to your pod and packed all your crap into a card board box. After you got canned, someone like my wife then got the pleasure of walking you and your cardboard box past security and out the door)…now beat it little

        • Tbyrne


    • Timothy Desaules

      At&t doesnt have 100 million customers.  This just shows off the average mentality of america.  Let’s just bash what we don’t like, and use some made up numbers in the process.  You sir, are a moron.

      • rip Tmobile you suck

        And you are dumb Timothy! Stop assuming and get your facts straight you unknowledgeable scum bag.

    • Tbyrne

      Well hello there _ATL_Guy!

    • Respawn

      I hate to break it to you, but I used to be a supervisor for AT&T before I left for brighter, greener pastures. Guess who also “outsources and hires idiots who read off screens?” Yup, welcome to AT&T. Rethink Your Decision.

    • AJ

      Looks like somebody got fired from t-mobile and is still bitter….lol

      • Rip tmobile you suck

        AJ I quit that place just like life quit you! Please shut the hell up lol!!

    • Rudy Belova

      lmao.. My fake 4g phone gets faster speeds than the at&t LTE network in chicago! You can keep your LTE phone and poor battery life!

      • Rip tmobile you suck

        Lol Rudy why do I see you as a turtle? Lmao you slow piece of garbage! Sperm is faster than your fake tmobile 4g trash! Get out of here with those lies!!!

    • Anonymous

      MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,seem’s there another one that forgot to take there meds! He must of went on the computer when his parents was out of the house!

      • ConspiracyTheory

        Lmao! You people are really brutal tonite. Must be a full moon.

      • Rip tmobile you suck

        Bklynman this was all done when your parents were on my floor playing with their AT&T phones! So I was well supervised! They just got tired of having you as a disgraceful ignorant son. That’s all so now you can go take your mmmmmmmmmmedicine you jerk wad

        • Havoktek

          With that Vocab, you must be 12 or something…..Why are you here?
          Get mad often? Seen any good doctors lately?
          Prescription ran out and rite aid was closed?
          No even of value in this forum dude….kick rocks…..

    • Anonymous

      Wow dude, kill yourself please…..

      • Rip tmobile you suck

        Irie kill yourself first and show me how it’s done you loser! Find the nearest cliff and jump off! Oh and take your sorry tmobile phone and it’s service with you! :) kill two birds at one time!

    • Fabio

      Aw someone is bitter because their plans for world domination failed? Too bad T-Mobile isn’t dying anytime soon. In fact, I think they’ll flourish more than ever now, with their aggressive pricing strategy!

    • Fabio

      Aw someone is bitter because their plans for world domination failed? Too bad T-Mobile isn’t dying anytime soon. In fact, I think they’ll flourish more than ever now, with their aggressive pricing strategy!

    • Jack the R.I.P.-er

      <3 Trollz, but I still pay less, get faster data speeds where I live, & get better customer service. :)

    • Kahlayoh

      Well looks like the human needs to use some of the ants network!!! Ants might be little, but travel in many and eventually dominates!!! Sorry to hear your bad experience with T-Mobile, but seriously…if you hate T-Mobile with a passion, why are you on this website?? Happy Holidays and hope Ol’ Saint Nick brings you a Samasung Galaxy S2 for Christmas along with one of T-Mobiles wonderful and affordable plans to choose from!! ;-)

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    LOL…. as I said in my previous comments, AT&T would announce this BEFORE the New Year so it could take the tax benefits in 2011.

    End of story.

    • Realcool2000

      Whatever mike, u said originally that the aquisition would go thru for sure, way to act like you’re right all the time. I hate when people switch their script to act like they know what’s going to happen with things like this when they couldn’t possibly know and when their original prediction is wrong they act like they still where right all along.

      On top pf everything you’re not even on tmobile.

      You must be a professional brown noser.

      That said, I’m so glad that the aquisition didn’t make it through the doj. Att tried all their dirty tricks and failed.

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Thanks for the nice words and admitting you’re a fan. Perhaps you would like printouts of every comment I made in here, with time and date stamps, to prove who said what you allege. I’ll even autograph them for you.

    • Rudy Belova

      At&t announced they where taking the write off like 2 weeks ago. (back around thanksgiving) Today didn’t change anything. We have all known they where taking that write off this year. It was on every major newspaper and blog. ???

  • Lcc1_

    buh-bye ATT dont let the door hit yer a$$ on the way out. Now ques is…whats gonna happen to TMo…seriously doubt DT is gonna put the 3 bill into TMo USA. This is my only concern. What are their options?

  • TweetMo

    I think that this possibly was a behind closed doors deal all along. AT&T gets roaming from T-Mobile too, but I don’t think $4B worth. If so, I was totally fooled.
    Who knows… could’ve been a shady way for AT&T to pay T-Mobile for something. Michael, calm down… it’s just a thought.

  • Respawn

    Okay, I might be the only one here, but I nearly hit the ceiling with joy when I read the article title. It took me 20 minutes of jumping around the world like a crazed schoolgirl before I actually read the article.

    I need to consider switching to decaf.

  • Rudy Belova

    I bet this is the last time At&t uses the usps to mail that very large cashiers check.. No.. could have used fedex but they had to be cheap!

  • ConspiracyTheory

    Now let’s see how many ppl get fired between now and end of January- when retention bonus gets paid out.

    • Milo17

      What retention there isn’t one no deal no bonus

  • SenorAnderson

    When does the roaming deal go live?

  • Tortionist

    I remember back in March or April when I said that there was still a chance that this deal would fail and people argued with me that it was a done deal. Now the only thing stopping my smile are my ears. David and crew. Excellent job with this great blog you guys rock. Thank you for always keeping us in the loop. 

  • Enoel69

    I am in celebratory mood cuz we all made our voices heard and right now the money saved to buy the G-Nex is burning my pocket. It is imperative that Tmo ask their long time partner Google to just bring on the unlocked 32GB 3G/HSPA+ GSM G-NEX with the 1850 or 2100 mAH battery ASAP…can’t w8 any longer. WE NEED THE 32GB GSM PENTABAND 3G/HSPA+ MODEL PLZZZZ….at least give us a time frame to expect it and make it in Jan or feb.