Today Marks The One Year Anniversary Of The Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Takeover Announcement

That’s right, today marks one year from the completely unexpected announcement that AT&T was attempting to purchase T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. The story would come to dominate our attention for the better half of 2011 as it became one of the most hotly contested merger/takeover/acquisitions in recent memory. Everyone from Congress, to the FCC and Department of Justice all the way through to hundreds of consumer organizations across the country got involved to help persuade the government on how to proceed with the deal. We wrote hundreds upon hundreds of posts covering every facet of the story, from what would happen to rate plans, smartphones, prepaid minutes to the T-Mobile name itself. We covered lawsuits, Congressional hearings, leaked documents, coverage plans for a combined company, spectrum plans and absolutely everything in-between.

T-Mobile employees spent more than enough time fearing for their jobs as well as customers who feared losing rate plans they had kept for years. The industry itself feared losing T-Mobile, the smallest of the national carriers however, a scrappy and disruptive force in the marketplace. We’ve written enough times in 2012 alone that T-Mobile still has a long road ahead and thanks to some AT&T cash and spectrum, an LTE rollout to prepare for.

It’s going to be an interesting year for our beloved Magenta and I know I can’t wait to see how things turn out. Writing about T-Mobile day in and day out has boosted my passion for the company even more-so than when TmoNews started. It’s truly a pleasure to see T-Mobile coming out from the shadow of AT&T and forge ahead as their own company once again.

As silly as this may sound, do you remember where you were when you first heard about the AT&T/T-Mobile announcement? I was about to head out the door and drive to CTIA in Orlando, where T-Mobile maintained a presence showing off new products and services even as the AT&T news gripped the atmosphere of the trade-show the entire time I was in there.

Here’s a little flashback: our post at 2:35pm on March 20th, 2011 announcing that AT&T has agreed to a $39 billion dollar offer to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • I said to my friends on day one that it wouldn’t happen. I had people that worked for At&t and other telecom companies tell me I was stupid and that there was no doubt it would go through. Ha. 

    • LOL this is like reliving a dramatic moment in life, hahahah i was so angry upset and pissed off! I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! please do not let this happen! i hate AT&T still do verizon is just AT&T in red.

    • I knew it wouldn’t happen too! There was no way that the U.S was going to allow their citizens to have only 3 choices for NATIONAL wireless service.

      • Vim

        If the President were a Republican, it is unlikely that the DoJ would have opposed the deal.  It’s also unlikely that the FCC would have raised issues with the deal were it not for its Democratic majority. These days, Republicans tend to be more averse to “government interference in the market” then then to monopolies, ie. Republican politicians are less ashamed about having their votes bought by corporate lobbyists.

  • LC

    I remember I was at work when the proposal was announced, and I just remember a couple of customers coming in asking why a news crew was out front asking customers what they thought about the potential merger…That was a bit of a shocker.

  • Gwapo

    Thanks AT&T for the $4 Billion!!!!!


    Sent from my Iphone 4$

    •  The problem is that even though we might think of $4 billion as a nice chunk of change the reality is that 4 billion dollars doesn’t buy what it used to :)  It’s going to take a few more billions to make any real difference.  The reality is that T-Mobile (or whatever the number four carrier turns out to be) will always be the underdog compared to any other carrier.  They have less subscribers (though really just about as many as Sprint does if you don’t count Nextel) but because T-Mobile is a PCS company they’re at a constant disadvantage compared to the cellular guys AT&T and Verizon and always will be as long as they’re a PCS company. T-Mobile will never be a carrier you can count on in the rural areas.

  • PimpStrong

    Happy Anniversary!! of some sort!

  • Auser72

    Remember all the post from people who were so adamant about merger/takeover being a done deal???

    • Jseton

      Yep, I remember seeing “it’s a done deal” over and over and even when they were proven wrong they went to “doesn’t matter, T-Mobile won’t be in the market this time next year anyway, they are selling to someone else” and that turned out to be wrong too. 

      • Scarfacemario

        Yeah I remember those comments it just pissed me off everytime I saw fhem

  • Lillykisses

    I was at work in one of the call centers. I got a text message from a friend asking about it, and asked them what on earth they were talking about. In our annual kick off meeting just one month before, we all watched the videos with the upper management stating that there were no plans to sell what so ever.

    I looked it up on the internet, and my stomach dropped. My supervisors were shocked, and all my team mates immediately began to worry about what the future would bring. Even now, one year later, and just a few short months past the decision to withdraw the purchase offer, many employees are still feeling disenchanted because of all the changes the company has made that has taken our focus away from the customers. There is still concern over the current direction of the company. Afterr 5 1/2 years working for a company I truly enjoyed, at one point in time, I am seeking other employment because I do not know what will happen in the next couple of years.

  • Robinwrestledabear

    My t mobile phone will not acquire signal is the network down?

  • charlieboy808

    I was at work trying to read up on some good good news then I almost shit a brick in disbelief. 

  • TMoFan

    I first read about this “merger” on Drudge. I thought I was reading things so my first visit was here and still couldn’t believe it. I really appreciate your work David keeping up with the “merger” news, live blogging during the Senate hearings and providing us with an outlet here at TmoNews. 
    T-Mobile is going a long way to steady the ship with its refarming efforts and LTE. In five year’s time everyone will look back on this and realize what a huge mistake we avoided by denying at&t’s desire to take out a competitor. Let’s all take this time to thank at&t for their money and spectrum. Greed from all sides came back to bite them in the ass It was very entertaining watching this thing fall apart despite wall street, bs analysts, DT (which would have had a combined 8% stake in at&t), at&t and its countless minions, the cwa, and the bs organizations like the Filipino American Arts Exposition and the Louisiana Ballooning Foundation all pushing for this thing to pass. What was demonstrated is how much power at&t has and actually it was a little scary to see the at&t machine in full gear working on all sides to do its bidding. 

    T-Mobile has everything to gain at this point.

    • Drewmelcher

      great comment.

  • former employee

    I worked at a tmobile call center, my step dad worked for att. He called and said “good morning co-worker. Turn on the news, and then check your email.”  I was speachless. Went to work monday and thats when work was no longer fun. Every call we got after that included questions about the merger. We knew nothing, people didnt believe us. All the policy changes made customer livid. I started to personally disagree with what was going on. I stomached it as long as I could, and quit it october.

  • coybot

    I was in such fear of AT&T taking over that I jumped ship and went to Sprint — which was really horrible as I could barely get 4G near work and home. Luckily, I switched as part of SPrint’s promo where they helped with the ETFs when leaving T-Mobile, and also if you switched back within 90 days if the merger failed. So glad to be back to T-Mobile!

  • Hudi Grossman

    can u guys write a post to pressure t-mobile to create a map that show the spots of refarmed 3G hspa+ AWS to 1900 bands

    • Fabian Cortez

      I’d like to see a map like this as well.

      I was sitting in a lab [in Orlando as well] when the news first broke.

    •  I am interested in this map as well.

    • Turtle6988

      There refarming everywhere. As people switch to HSPA+ network it frees up unused spectrum in the 1900 band.

  • mrsbelpit

    I was on the freeway (not driving) and pulled up my news reader on my phone. D: 
     I think it was a weekend, right?  Anyway, so incredibly happy that it did not happen.

    • Scarfacemario

      Yup I was at work it was for sure the weekend and I got pretty sad when I read the article

  • it’ll take some time to see if this failure helped TMO .. right now .. they’re still sinking especially with their handset offerings.

    • Actually it DID help. Thanks to the failure of the merger, T-Mobile now can roll out 4G LTE.

  • Kyzecyte

    fuck t-mobile i think this deal would had been a really good and heres why im sick an tire of getting this bitch ass phones why can we get the cooler one now sprint is getting the htc one x not the s like t-mobile so what now we the customer arent worth it. i was comparing my sgs2 with the one from sprint turns out the sprint version is better fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you t-mobile and plus your network suck been with them for 12 years well this is it 4 more months and im out siyonara bitches.

    • Awesome comment! I bet you didn’t even bother to look at the story on T-Mobile getting the HTC One X either? Good luck!

      • DavidsTherapist

        Good luck… in life? You are an asshole.

        • I’m sorry, did I say something that upset you? I can’t reply to a comment and say good luck? He said he was leaving T-Mobile, I wished him luck. What’s the problem?

          Also, if you’re my therapist, is this comment costing me an hour?

        • “Also, if you’re my therapist, is this comment costing me an hour?”

          That was HILARIOUS! Had me laughing for a minute there!

        • Realcool2000

          Yeah Daves a real comedian. Hes performing all his material at the Hypocritical Comedy Club and the Double Standard Club as well.

        • Hypocritical and double standard? Oh please, explain such accusations. You still mad I asked you not to harass people in the comments?

        • Realcool2000

          Just because I dont like something and am vocal about it, I still give credit where its deserved.

          You do an awesome job with the site content and info.

          But its obvious im being singled out for some if my posts when others do the same and worse. No worries tho.

        • DuTcH PaPi

          What is going on this week?  Why does everyone need to be so negative and vulgar?  It’s getting to be a bit ridiculous now.  

          1.  If you’re so unhappy w/T-Mo, why have you been with them for 12 years?  You’re really going to leave because in your opinion, Sprint had a slightly better version of the SGS2?  There are articles and reviews out there comparing the SGS2 models and the results were that our T-Mo version was one of the best.  

          2.  If you hate T-Mo so much, why wait?  Leave now and pay the ETF if you’re on contract.  If not, no need to wait.  

          3.  Have a great night and good luck at your next carrier.David’s Therapist:
          Kyzecyte wasn’t just pointing out the One X story.  He was bashing a carrier he voluntarily stayed with for 12 years and basically gave us all the big FU because he’s leaving.  It’s one thing to complain and rant about something, it’s another to do it in such a vulgar, insulting manner.  The FU and cussing weren’t necessary to get his point across.  Don’t create such negative posts with all that attitude, cite inaccurate information then expect no one to post responses refuting them.  Have a great night.

        • Realcool2000

          Wow Dave, all these comments are so civil and contribute to the tmonews community and the discussion of this posting with no cussing at all, making this forum an inviting place.

          Sound familiar?

          Guess its ok long as its certain people and not others huh.

          No threatening of deleting messages here I see.

          No singling anyone out right….

          This guy flamboyantly cursing with no looking back, but guess thats ok for the kids to see cause you got involved and had a part in the fun.

        • Realcool2000

          It would be nice if that therapist showed his regular screen name tho like a man right, instead hiding behind that one.

          Anyway….back in Hypocritical City, in Double s
          standard County they have a Tmobile tower outage, and the first 7 core phone is debuting….

        •  For crying out loud, he was simply pointing out the HTC One X story. No need to get bent out of shape.

        • With all due respect, the guy needs all the luck he can get, and God bless David for wishing it upon him. How easy do you think it’s going to be for the guy to go through a professional working life with that sentence structure, spelling, and profanity?

      • Felix Auvray Stiritz

        link to story please…

        • Felix, I don’t have a link off the top of my head but that is what the search box is for! :-)

    • BigMixxx


      a little harsh, eh?

      Dude, good luck. Head over to sprint… 

      Head over to ATT 

      Head over to Verizon
      I’m just not gonna put anything here.  It’s well known they are the most expensive because they ARE the best….

      Dude, do your homework these days, you can get the best national deals with T mobile, and not be nickled and dimed to death.

    • HeLLo

       Pretty pathetic and sad that you have to shown your ignorance.I was rolling with laughter when you mentioned T-Mobile won’t be getting the HTC One X.Actually they are and I believe it is the quad-core version of it.You sure as hell speak as if Sprint is the best carrier…poor ignorant child.The only thing Sprint has going for them is the Unlimited data but do you really believe it’s going to last once they roll out LTE?.So please don’t come crying back once Sprint  gets rid of Unlimited data and offers only tiered data due to LTE and rising costs.I am happy to be on T-Mobile and thank goodness one less moron using LTE once it is rolled out.

    • You need some serious English classes. I don’t know what language that is, seriously. Did anyone ever teach you or stress to you the importance of SOME correct spelling? You can’t even spell Sayonara, and that was your closing thought.

      • Ghettogurl09

        dnt correct his language sure itz bad like mine but he sayinq da truth it wud if been better if att wud have bouqht t-mobile.

  • stevejobbed

    Wow, can’t believe it already a year ago. I was a manager at a call center at the time. I remember the emergency meetings and calls from higher up to make sure reps don’t panic. And then I remember the change in focus from genuine customer service to sales and add ons. It was frustrating for a lot of long time employees being told that they weren’t good enough because they weren’t pushing  contracts and add ons and focusing on helping the customer. I finished my masters degree in May and made the decision then to find something better. It was sad last fall to leave behind a shell of the company I was once so proud to represent.

    • Guest

      The philosophy you are talking about is used by Verizon and it makes them a successful company as Tmobile flounders- Tmobile needs to be more sales driven to make it!

      • Well you have to play to your strengths. T-Mobile’s strength was always rock solid customer service. When someone in the Customer Service side of the company says the culture has changed, that’s a problem. Verizon isn’t Verizon solely because it upsells product. Verizon also has a rock solid network, and other intangibles that lead to low churn. T-Mobile isn’t Verizon and needs desperately to reduce churn, and attract new customers. Getting back to proper and award winning customer service is one way to get there. All companies differentiate to get competitive advantages in the market, those advantages are different. The #4 company can’t rely on amazingly low customer turnover like Verizon to push upselling product, it doesn’t work.

        • Guest

          Well put.
          This insight is probably the most relevant when considering WHY the culture change place because it certainly wasn’t the result of strategically planned market positoning.
          Unclear missions and message, a failure to properly utilizeor appreciate strengths and a resulting culture that led to confusion as the company values took a backseat to short term results. Leaving many managers with the idea that the only thing that matters now is hard driving sales. Not HOW WE GET THEM OR BRAND LOYALTY.
          That is not how to mamage a period of cultural change. That’s poor leadership and a failure of integrity.
          Its not like tmo leadership said “let’s go this way”. They said nothing and left an ill equipped middle management the task of “driving results”. Noone in senior leaderahip thought they would have to explain it. Kust keep it alfoat until the purchase is done.
          For those of you who stand behind tmo with a passion, you must ask yourself if YOUR tmo has survived at all.
          There is a difference between rhetoric and leadership.

    • Guest

      I was a manger right in seattle.
      I know what was up.
      Tmo was great because of something real. Real people. Genuine concern for doing thinhs yhe right way as defined by our values.
      If you bled magenta, you know it true.
      If the company does not find a way to return to that culture, it doesn’t return. I don’t know what tmo is now, but it broke my heart to see what made it special(from an employee’s perspective) be flushed down the toilet.
      Good luck tmo….

  • Wilma Flintstone

    I don’t know if you’ve read this David, but you should take a look:

  • Wilma Flintstone

    This Day is the Wireless Ides of March

  • I couldn’t believe it when this was announced a year ago. And I just thought that this had no chance of happening. And I was right.  I had some doubts when AT&T decided to take on the DOJ. But then I had confidence the DOJ would prevail.

    Then the FCC publicly opposed the deal, and the rest is history! :-) Now it’s time for T-Mobile to ATTACK and ATTACK both AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile needs to go after these two enemies.

    • Attack with what?  Tmo has no weapons in their armory.  Merged or not-merged, there’s hardly any real benefit to consumers.  What, shittier phones and higher prices? Wooo, let’s celebrate this ‘win’! Tmo put themselves on pause for almost the whole year and are even farther behind than ever before.

      Everyone talking about ‘choice’ and ‘monopoly’ are facetious idiots.  Either way it went, there’s no reward for the consumer.

      • Stacy

        CHEAP PHONES? well that really depends on what phone you decide to purchase. I decided to go with an Iphone and then hook it up with tmobile. Now, you can say what you like.. but my phone is pretty kick butt. so… I think I’d rather pay either 30-50 a month for prepaid iphone… than 90.00 through at&t or sprint! You can choose to buy a nice phone and not the ones they provide. It’s up the the buyer! Tmobile is giving their customers a chance to have a decent phone for a more affordable price than the other carriers. They don’t keep you bound to just their phones! So… I say… Thats more than enough weapon! I see more and more people switching to tmobile everyday. In fact… everytime i show someone my Iphone and they hear that I have NO CONTRACT and paying either 30.00 a month or 50.00 a month for the unlimited and they flip! They can’t wait for their contract to end! So.. you just wait… and see buster. lol :D tmobile is going to take out a lot if they continue to care about their customers!

  • Guest

    Must be a slow news day.

    • Ding ding ding! Tell him what’s he won Johnny!

  • steven

    i had just gotten home from somewhere, clicked open facebook, and your status update hit me like a ton of bricks.  knocked the wind right out of me.  (TMO employee)

  • Jake

    I don’t remember where i was exactly but my fiance jumped Ship to verizon on a family plan with her mother (who had Verizon already) and after paying more than she expected she told Verizon to take a hike and now is loving her new mytouch Q and a much cheaper bill, thank you tmobile for continuing to be the value leader and just an all around awesome provider. T-MOBILE FTW!

  • Ghettogurl09

    i rememba i was takinq a dump wen my sista calld me nd told me bout att wantinq to buy t-mobile i almost jumped out of da toilet then i looked round nd i had no toilet paper -_-” it was a messy day!

  • Enoel69

    Even when everyone was saying it was a don deal…in my gut i knew this deal will not fly. I couldn’t fathom the good men and women of FCC and DOJ waving this one thru realizing how adversely it will affect millions of consumers and the cellular landscape. I had my share of comments on various blog post including many here at Tmonews. I remember commenting on the day Att pulled the plug that everyone else saw the writing on the wall except Att and while they are wasting their time beating a dead horse Verizon was making deals with cable Companies to purchase the valuable AWS spectrum.  A few hours after that….most blogs had the headlines Att pulls the plug on Tmo deal buy out deal. Boy was i excited…bcuz this was purely ppl action together with the good ppl at FCC n DOJ making sure the consumer was protected by ensuring that competition flourish and also the viability of one of the big four Networks. 

  • Realcool2000

    Yeah I remember all too well, so many people were saying it would go through for sure cause they KNEW it would.

    Myself ( and some others too :) ), kept making the point of how a GSM monopoly is terrible for so many reasons.

    Soooo many comments said that it would be great if ATT was the only GSM provider and how great that would be.

    Obviously those people had no idea what it means to have competition in business and it benefits the consumers. Wont get into that, but facts are that the DOJ getting involved was scary and amazing at the same time, because the decision they made was a decision that said they support the right for people to make choices and for technology to advance, when the biggest lobbying power of the communication industry was pulling all the strings it could and spending all the money it could to BUY its way into a position.

    For me this meant that there is still justice to be had, when many times it a forgotten subject.

    ( now if we can get that guy from Florida who seemingly shot that poor kid in cold blood to trial, that would be good too ). Yeah it aint all bout cell phones, sukas.

    In the midst of whether ATT would buy Tmo, I renewed my contract and got the same great rates and service I always got from them, because I didnt really care if they got bought cause I would have cancelled with ATT cause I never would zigned to be with them and just added my nams to the class action suit that would have ensued.

    • Realcool2000

      And TMONEWS did an amazing job of covering the event and keeping us all informed on the details as they arose.

      Props to David and everyone who contributed to putting the info out there.

      This was a very important event that affected much more than just the Cel phone industry.

  • Vim

    I’m in total agreement with you.  The Sprint article you’ve linked in is a particularly interesting read, and everybody who thinks that the iphone will somehow magically “save” T-Mobile should read it. T-Mobile doesn’t need saving. Neither does it need crippling debt just to get today’s -it- phone.  it just needs better management and greater investment, and there is reason to be hopeful on both counts now that T-Mobile’s head is no longer stuck up AT&T’s derriere.

  • Silk7412

    I recall this day all to well. As soon as i seen it i went to the FCC and started filing( and filing ,filing,filing). Over 200 from boston alone. writing everyone in every office to stop the from happening. Telling the nay sayer it can be stopped and jumpping for joy when it was!!!

  • Gouv

    They really should have let T-mobile end themselves, now T-mobile has to continue living in less than ideal conditions in comparison to its competitors.  They were saved when they didn’t want to be.

    • Realcool2000

      ” Tmobile has to continue living ” hahhaaha

      You are very ignorant about the subject matter of the previous proposed ATT acquisition of Tmo.

      It was all explained from every angle before, so if you dont get it now, likely you won’t ever understand.

      • Gouv

        Believe what you want and try to understand it from ever soft angle that you’d like. The truth is they will always struggle and are always going to be disadvantaged until they have the resource to aquifer more spectrum and infrastructure and advertising. Until then their credit challenged customer base and limited cash resources will always be a source of grief for the little carrier. It’s just not as profitable as the bigger guys are and heck tmo is cheaper too. So you can think someone with an opposing view is ignorant but let the quarterly numbers speak for themselves and ask why DT would want to sell? But hey everyone that isn’t you is ignorant I suppose so it doesn’t really matter, right?

  • Dave Macias

    i remember i was doing some website maintenance and browsing howardforums , it was on howardforums where i found the news about att and T-Mobile.

  • I was in Israel and got a MSNBC alert on my iPhone to alert me that the acquisition had been proposed.

  • Dimeloloco

    My son saw the nes on the web and told me dad you won’t believe this. I was like hell NO.

  • guest

    As of 2:00 3/22/2012 T-mobile announced to employees that it is to cut 1900 jobs and close 7 call centers. I guess they were worrying about job loss from the wrong souce…

    • TruthHurts

      Actually it is 3300 jobs they are cutting and closing 7 call centers which were ALREADY scaled down and operating at less than half capacity.  

  • Too bad it didn’t go through.  Things have just rolled down hill ever since with no end in sight.  Come June when my 3 lines are up, I’m going to have to be gone.

  • Jaymacat

    I about drove off the road last march and this march I’m about to jump off a cliff after hearing the news today. If I make it till June, I’ll be worried about what next spring will bring. Is this living? Constantly worried about keeping the great job that I have ? I’m thankful but dang the stress is eating me up.

    • TruthHurts

      You are nothing but AN EXPENDABLE COMMODITY  to T-Mobile and when you have finally had enough you will be replaced with a $2 an hour Filipino outsourced worker!

  • rvg911

    I remember that I was hired by tmobile on 28 March 2011 a few days after the announcement  and start my first day @ office that was my welcome news thank’s to God this did not happen and I am proud to work for this company T-Mobile !

    • SleepyRattleSnake

      Ha Ha…. enjoy it while it lasts…… Tmobile  announced layoffs today of 3300 call center employees and they won’t stop till every last one of those pesky American jobs has been outsourced!  

      • CactoesGel