T-Mobile USA has been a subsidiary of the German holding company Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile International AG. However, in March 2011, Deutsche Telekom agreed to sell T-Mobile to the U.S.-based telecommunications holding company AT&T in exchange for cash and stock. This deal will make Deutsche Telekom one of the largest stockholders in AT&T, with an 8 percent share and the right to appoint a member to AT&T’s board of directors. The deal is expected to close sometime in 2012, pending regulatory approvals.
Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile provides voice and data communications to over 33 million wireless contract holders in the United States. T-Mobile also is a retailer of wireless devices and phones, and operates retail wireless hotspots at airports and businesses across the country. As a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile has maintained its own corporate governance, run by a board of directors and its executive team, made up of a chief executive officer, chief operations officer and chief financial officer.
Dallas, Texas-based AT&T is the largest communications holding company in the world, providing data, voice, broadband and communication -- including local and long-distance phone access -- services in over 220 countries worldwide. AT&T’s website also states that they manage the world’s largest wireless network, with nearly 300,000 hotspot locations internationally. AT&T is governed by a board of directors, which is nominated by a committee based on recommendations by stakeholders and executives.
According to AT&T, the combined company of AT&T and T-Mobile will use AT&T branding and the AT&T name. Operations between the two companies are described as “complementary,” and AT&T plans to maintain the T-Mobile headquarters under the AT&T name in Washington state.
In 2011, the United States Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in order to prevent the AT&T-T-Mobile merger, claiming the acquisition would result in higher prices, poorer service and fewer choices as the combined company could represent a wireless telecommunications monopoly.