5 Heavy-Hitting Facts About Cellphone Company Mergers


1. The biggest merger was AT&T’s acquisition of Bell South.

The deal was struck for $86 billion in 2007. This was Ed Whitacre’s last big deal before retiring. (source)

2. There used to be 4 major telecommunications carriers in the US but today there are only three.

These companies are AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Sprint used to be a fourth major player and the merger with T-Mobile was contested by the US Justice Department. (source)

3. We were almost limited to two cellphone carriers.

AT&T tried to purchase T-Mobile but the FCC blocked the deal. They decided the merger would violate laws about monopoly. Studies have shown that in other countries merging from four providers to three didn’t negatively impact consumers, but the same isn’t true for merging from three to two. (source)

4. Hollywood star, Ryan Reynolds sold his cell company start-up for billions of dollars.

Ryan Reynolds, the actor best-known for playing Deadpool in Marvel movies, created Mint Mobile and was an active spokesperson for the carrier. However, he sold the company to T-Mobile in a deal worth billions of dollars. (source)

5. When T-Mobile and Sprint merged, T-Mobile pledged to expand 5G reach.

This contentious deal came with a lot of pledges. One of them was T-Mobile’s promise to expand 5G availability to people in more rural areas. Unfortunately, the company has failed to meet other merger promises like the number of new jobs the merger would create. (source)

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