AT&T Efforts To Sell T-Mobile Assets Coming Up Short

According to a new Wall Street Journal report, AT&T’s efforts to find a prospective buyer for T-Mobile assets have “gone cold.” Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Journal indicates that a potential divestiture to Leap Wireless has gone cold as the parties concerned no longer believe such a deal would help persuade the government into allowing the deal to continue. The WSJ reports this may in fact be the strongest indicator that AT&T may abandon the $39 billion dollar deal altogether. Dish Network, MetroPCS and other foreign companies were also said to have been in the running for portions of T-Mobile’s divested assets.

There are now looming doubts in many corners of the telecom space that AT&T can salvage any potential merger deal. AT&T could still try and fight the Department of Justice in court, though alternatives to a full merger are looking more and more likely.

AT&T hasn’t commented since they agreed to request a stay in the upcoming trial with Deutsche Telekom and the Justice Department.

Wall Street Journal, Reuters


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  • Anonymous

    This is a good thing. Other telco’s know, AT&T doesn’t stand a chance. AT&T overlaps with T-Mobile throughout the whole USA.

    T-Mobile is not Alltel, MetroPCS, USCC, or Leap Wireless. T-Mobile is a national carrier.

    • Amen!  I know a lot of people are trying to put T-Mobile in the “regional” carrier position but they most definitely are NOT.  T-Mobile is such a terrific National carrier and yet nobody can see that.

      • They have killed National Marketing and are focusing on more regional advertising. This is GOOD because they can focus on strengthening the network in local areas that need it, offer the best price in markets with competition from Metro and Cricket, and still be a national carrier and stand up to AT&T and Verizon.
        This is BAD because sometimes these companies fail to implement equipment that works nationally when roaming, case in point… Sprint. 

  • T-mobile Customer

    Thank. God.

  • Anonymous

    Give it up att….while youre trying to salvage this deal, vzw is buying up spectrum left and right. Get your priorities str8. Take the 4B loss then go out and put that stockpiled spectrum to use.

  • Prepare for a Dish network takeover. Maybe that would give us exclusives like a Hulu Plus app…

  • Chatter

    A national roaming agreement might be a win-win for both sides. We will see more coverage and ATT will experience less congestion. The deal could be limited to 3G only and companies can fight it out for LTE. The pricing differences remain and let the customers choose what they want.

  • Enoel69

    You would think that they will know when to cut their loses..and move on. While they are busy pushing for a deal that is as good as dead..Verizon is going after valuable spectrum that would have been more useful for Att. The hand writing has long been on the wall…i wonder why they could not see it. 

    • I agree with you, instead of AT&T wasting time with T-Mobile, why doesn’t AT&T just go and fight Verizon for that spectrum. Verizon already has a lot of spectrum. OH! I know why, because AT&T and Verizon are allies. They’d never go against each other! GASP!

  • This is a dead deal and they need to just face it, seriously.

  • Instead of AT&T bothering and wasting their resources on a deal that is as of right now effectively dead, they should be going to the FCC and asking the FCC not to let Verizon acquire the AWS spectrum. But obviously AT&T won’t do such a thing. Verizon and AT&T have a history of collusion and in fact I feel like they are the same company just operating under different brands. They have almost the same rate plans, they have the same phones, they have the same market power, they came from the baby bells breakup, for god sakes these companies are just TOO similar.

    AT&T wanted to acquire T-Mobile USA in order to destroy, the only would be left national carrier, Sprint Nextel. Together with Verizon, AT&T would have effectively killed competition and Sprint wouldn’t be able to compete with the BIG twin bells, forcing handset device manufacturers to only make deals with AT&T and Verizon and to leave Sprint Nextel out in the cold.

    Good thing our government stepped up and did what was right.

    • Anonymous

      Remember Att and Verizon is the same company.They were together before the breakup many years ago. Forgot the name,I know it was not Verizon. But just think if the gov’t didn’t force the breakup some many yrs ago,there would be only one cell phone company it the country.

      • L0rdg1gabyt3

        In my area, Verizon was GTE….

        • In my area GTE became Verizon (CDMA/AMPS) and CellularONE became AT&T (TDMA/AMPS) and Sprint was created on its own, then Nextel came to play. But originally when I had a phone, you had 2 providers CellONE and GTE.

          AT&T bought Airtouch, which was divested from GTE/ maybe you meant that.

    • Desertbears

      Yes the Bell Operating Companies, 22 of them. Bell Atlantic (Verizon) & Southwestern Bell ( AT&T) were the biggest. Tmobile & Sprint weren’t part of the old Ma Bell so they have the lower prices & better service of course. AT&T & Verizon share some of the same Board of Directors members.

  • Nate29

    People will get fired at ATT over this huge multibillion dollar fiasco.. 

    • I agree, I really don’t think the highest executives at Att are very happy right now and they must place the blame somewhere so I do believe some Att employees will lose their job. It is better however than regular T-Mobile employees losing their job over the merger if it had gone through.  Yes yes I know employees could still lose their jobs but this thing is so uncertain and complicated that its impossible to say.

      • tman10449

        kinda thinking the investors will probably start at the top and work their way down :-)

    • Anonymous

      The people will be fire over this,I hope it will not be the people can’t afford to be fire.(Sale people,store mangers etc) The ones that will be? The ones that are making well over 6 figures
      income,big stock options!  

    • Tbyrne

      Randall should be the first one out the door!

  • Wilma Flintstone

    I want that White GS2 but I’m going to wait til next year to see what’s going to happen in the end.  All signs right now point to AT&T failing but I’m not going to jump into a new contract (Until after the trial when the deal is over and we know the final results) and have everything flip around some magical way for AT&T (You all know how stuff happens in the tech world).  I’ll most likely jump on craigslist and find a device that can hold me over til then.  And also by doing that, it’ll allow for better devices to come out and I’d have more choice.  I’m jumping to Android until Tizen comes out.

    • Realcool2000

      Noboday cares what u do wilma.

      • Tbyrne

        I kinda do.

  • DaveTopRep

    The deal is all but done. There is no coming back….period.  Now I predict Dish Network will make an offer and Z-Germans will accept just to be done with us Yanks. Out of all the plausible scenarios, this one IMO is the most logical and acceptable for us T-Mobile customers and employees. 

  • Mikeedavis

    Sadly I see T-Mobile becoming a MetroPCS/Cricket type company with they’re constant need to push Value plans, as opposed to Classic. They’re constantly neglecting customers who are looking for a 2 year contract type situation. Like it or not T-Mobile is in dire need of a merger with a larger provider or another company in general. Also HSPA+ isn’t cutting it, theoretical speeds are all fine and dandy, but in practice I am in a 21+ speed area and I’m not getting anywhere near that. T-Mobile needs to hurry and rethink/reevaluate whatever strategy they have set up since its looking like the AT&T deal is unlikely.

    • Value plans are a two year contract situation.

    • Chris Johnson

      But even though you may not be getting near that you are still getting more than adequate date speeds. On my HD2 I still get a consistent 3-6mb download which means no buffering ever. What’s the big deal?

    • I myself am in an HSPA+42 area and I rarely see above 8mbps on my MyTouch4G (rated for 14mbps) – I dont have a problem really with the fact Im not hitting top speeds capable, as long as they are fast, and my battery aint dying.

  • BP

    AT&T’s taking a stake in the smaller carrier or doing a joint venture to share a network technology sound likely.  It has been too much time and effort to just back out now.  AT&T, T-Mobile and (Blank) FTW!!!

  • Realitysettingin

    Looks like we’ll remain the carrier with GPRS coverage all oner the country while everyone else moves to LTE.  Sad.  All we get is spotty AWS in cities with quick hurts of fast data here or there.  

    • Tbyrne

      But we’ll remain the carrier with the lowest rate plans, excellent customer service and no doubt will build up are infrastructure.

  • T-Mobile could be so much more, fastest HSPA+ Network in the country, great phones and plans and their customer assistance is pretty damn good. With the right advertising behind them sky is the limit. They don’t need LTE, build up their HSPA+ Network, with this technology battery isn’t a problem and the speeds are just as fast. I have both T-Mobile and Verizon accounts, I’m getting around 16 MB Dl on Verizon and T-Mobile is pushing almost 10 MB, this is in my area. Once you get over the 6 MB, the User Experience is very hard to tell apart. The difference between 8 and 15 MB download is very hard to tell apart. Build up the HSPA+ and grow. Tell the consumers the facts with this new technology and give them speed. Who cares if it’s LTE or HSPA+, Customers just want speed and good battery life, HSPA+ gives them both.

    • Tbyrne

      Very logically stated. Bravo!

    • Exactly, imagine how well T-Mobile USA would be doing “if” DT actually gave them money for ANYTHING instead of just taking all the profits and reinvesting back in Europe.  Jerks, they never cared about T-Mobile USA even tho its theirs.

    • Agreed, but the sad truth though is that even if HSPA+ offered faster speeds, the US wireless market now only recognises LTE as the “fastest and best” wireless internet connection. Trying to market the benefits of HSPA+ will be overshadowed by the slick advertising of Verizon and at&t claiming LTE is better which the uninformed public will believe, and with Sprint also moving to LTE Tmo’s network will be considered, wrongly or rightly as being slower. That will also be reinforced by the tech press who will blindly publish reviews with statements like “sadly its not LTE” completely ignoring the actual speed achieved with the device in testing since they rarely do direct comparisons of network data speeds.

      And we all know that marketing is king so unless Tmo can produce a killer campaign they will always be categorised as “lacking LTE” and less desirable than other networks. Seems they will have to go LTE just to keep up with the jones’s and be seen as a viable competitor to the other carriers.

    • Auser72

      I agree 100%!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Why can’t Att. face the truth. This deal is dead! Take some of that $39 billion and go buy Metros,and Leap and Cricket! Or spin off there go-phone service and make it separate company! 

  • wait i thought Dish Network said it wants all of T-mobile not some off it because they already have spectrum but they want someone to run the voice part of Dish Network(Ollo).

  • The Dude

    Somebody P-L-E-A-S-E pull the plug on the life-support machine that is keeping this deal alive.Just let it die. T-Mobile (and our customers) will come roaring back once we get the AT&T shackles removed.

  • Tbyrne

    Of course this deal wasn’t going to go thru. These corporations think most people are ignorant and clueless to their shenanigans. Ha Ha AT&T, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but………….

  • Anonymous

    Get the hell out of here AT&T. Just leave us alone. I guess these idiots are trying to salvage $4B one or the other way. Also they want soft landing to save their face. 
    the next step is to break up ATT. 

  • Anonymous

    Imagine, if DT pulls the plug on their T-Mobile parenting, and Vodafone steps in, to let Verizon have their 45% stake back, and become sole owners of T-Mobile USA, or whatever their new name will be, since DT would most likely remove the T-Mobile USA name.

  • Anonymous

    Only winners are the regulators, that got paid by AT&T upfront. AT&T has spent billions already lobbying, lieing, and running tv ads, instead of buying that spectrum that Verizon swooped in and bought.

  • Silk7412

    I think ATT will try one more dumb thing and then they will be done.With leap saying noway right now att is feeling the pain.

  • Dpro

    AT&T err SBC just announced that they have dropped their efforts to buy T Mobile. They will take the 4 billion write down. They are entering roaming agreements with DT and DT has agreed to this. This just came across the wire


    T-Mobile just announced the deal is dead. 

  • JimBob

    WSJ just reported that the deal is officially dead.

  • jarjon76

    So glad the deal is dead! The question is now what will happen with T-Mobile?

    • Frank Jacobs

      Continued limbo for T-Mobile.

    • they will fold.  so you’ll likely STILL have to choose between ATT, Sprint and Verizon the same as you would have had this deal gone through .. only difference now is that you’ll have ZERO choice in keeping that cool little TMO plan you have now.

      • Greg

        I don’t know if they’ll fold. This is, of course, a win for those who don’t like AT&T. For those who are interested in the future of T-Mobile, I see it as uncertain.

        There were plenty who were excited about Dish Networks interest in a partnership, but that completely ignores the point that that’s not what DT is looking for. They want 100% out of the game, so for something with Dish to work, they’re going to need to find a 3rd party that’s interested.

      • whoda

        You’re probably right.  Naysayers will say that Tmo is still profitable, but look at RIM: they’re still profitable but look at the stock price action and what everyone in the tech space is saying about them.  It’s all about expectations on the future.  Tmo is probably heading a more gradual downfall.  It’s frustrating to see that Tmo could not encourage Apple (or Apple chose not to) to add the 1700mhz in their iPhone chipset for probably an extra measly buck in each device.

        • exactly … the grand scheme of things needed the merger however fail on the consumer it might have been .. i’m hoping the contrary happens but it likely won’t.

        • whoda

          Haha, we’re on the same page.  I’m using Tmo because of the great price/service combo, but customers have to face reality unless some drastic steps are taken in light of this news.

      • jarjon76

        Since you’re obviously trolling I’ll take your opinion with a grain of salt. You sound bitter–perk up it’s the Christmas season. I’ll be fine if T-Mobile stays or goes, but thanks for your concern.

  • Dave

    All I can say is thank God!!!

  • 123

    Ding Dong the Bitch is dead!

  • Mark Williams

    Hip Hip Hooray…Hip Hip Hooray:-)

  • Silk7412

    IN you face att in your face!!!!
    I filed so many filing at the fcc (150+) and not its over. To all who said ” att will buy there way”. Not this time !!!! I have been dancing on my desk at work!!!

  • Tmobilesucks

    T-mobile Sucks they are like a one dirty fish which makes the whole pond dirty. Their greed is unmatched in comparison with at&t and Verizon. They can keep their corporate greed to themselves rather than spoiling a good carrier like At&t.

  • Tmobilesucks

    They would have spoiled At&t merger would have been a bad deal for at&t. The only thing t-mobile would have brought to at&t is culture of corporate corruption.

  • Yay! American values pervail. No monopolies. Just good old fashioned competition. And for those of you against tmobile drop your contract and move on.

  • A monopoly is a government licensed company that has all the market share because the government has allowed it only to operate.   The now fallen through merger between AT&T and T-Mobile was private transaction that the government had no right to interfere in.  The founding fathers established America where individuals could agree to trade.  This is the land of free and the home of the brave.
    The Justice Dept. was anti-just, it forced corruption and injustice.