AT&T Gives Up Bid for T-Mobile

AT&T claimed that their merger, now off the table, would actually end up helping customers.

Jeremy Hobson: AT&T has dropped plans to buy rival T-Mobile in what would have been a $39 billion deal. The government was opposed to the deal because of anti-trust concerns.

The details from Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman.


Mitchell Hartman: Call it "merger hubris." AT&T insisted the deal would improve service for consumers. And the company was so confident it could get approval from anti-trust regulators, it promised to pay T-Mobile $3 billion if the deal fell through.

Maggie Reardon at CNET.

Maggie Reardon: They contribute a lot of money and do a lot of lobbying and they thought they had a good argument. But ultimately regulators looked at this and said, "it’s just too much concentration in the market."

With T-Mobile, AT&T would have had nearly half of U.S. wireless customers. And, the company also would have picked off a rival that was undercutting them in the market with lower prices, says Carl Howe at the Yankee Group.

Carl Howe: Eliminating this aggressive competitor was really what sent the deal south, because if you eliminate the low-cost player, then prices go up.

In August, the Justice Department sued to block the deal. And when AT&T decided the merger was doomed, it made the costly decision to back out.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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