Yes, this is certainly the piece of news that beats any iPhone 5 rumor out there: AT&T just bought T-Mobile USA. The former just acquired “the biggest 4G network in USA” from Deutsche Telekom for a stunning $39 billion. The result? 130 million combined customers and probably an improved coverage and signal for AT&T.
Of course, authorities will have to approve this deal and regulatory agencies must give their blessings too. An estimated 12 months will pass till the paperwork is done and the merger will result in a giant monopoly in the States, something that Sprint and Verizon will surely protest against.
What AT&T is gaining here is expanded LTE footprint, 95% of Americans having access to its services. Also, the resulting carrier will rely on the AWS spectrum to evolve into the 4G realm. In case the deal fails to go through, AT&T will have to pay $3 billion to T-Mobile and transfer AWS spectrum for the LTE launch, plus grant a reasonable roaming agreement to the German-owned company.
As far as the deal is concerned, Deutsche Telekom gets $25 billion in cash and $14 billion in stock, so it means that it will have an 8% stake in AT&T. And now the fun part: check out a selection of ads from T-Mobile that attack the iPhone 4 and AT&T’s services. Ironic, isn’t it?