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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday November 20 2019, @06:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend? dept.

John Legere Leaving T-Mobile After 7 Fun Years of Bashing AT&T:

T-Mobile CEO John Legere will leave the company's top job after his contract runs out on April 30, 2020, T-Mobile announced today. Mike Sievert, T-Mobile's president and chief operating officer, will replace Legere as CEO on May 1.

Legere, who became CEO in September 2012, revived a struggling company and led the "Un-carrier" strategy that pitched T-Mobile as a customer-friendly alternative to the AT&T/Verizon duopoly. T-Mobile's Un-carrier moves changed some of the punitive business practices that mobile carriers routinely inflicted on customers.

But Legere's T-Mobile also helped lead the way in making throttling of streaming video a standard industry practice. T-Mobile was punished by the federal government in 2016 for failing to adequately disclose speed and data restrictions on its "unlimited data" plans, and like other carriers, it sold its customers' real-time location data to third parties. Legere often offered better deals than competitors, but US wireless prices still rank among the most expensive in the world.

Legere used a brash and combative style to promote T-Mobile, often insulting larger rivals AT&T and Verizon by calling them "Dumb and Dumber." In 2017, he said that T-Mobile's scientific research found that Verizon was the "Dumber" part of that pair. Legere will leave as T-Mobile attempts to complete its pending acquisition of Sprint, a deal that would reduce wireless competition in the US and make T-Mobile roughly the same size as AT&T and Verizon.

Legere helped T-Mobile and Sprint win the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice's approval of the merger, but the companies must still defeat a lawsuit filed by a coalition of state attorneys general in order to complete the merger.

The Sprint/T-Mobile merger may reduce competition, but if Sprint instead declared bankruptcy, then wouldn't the larger AT&T and Verizon be likely to outbid T-Mobile for Sprint's spectrum licenses leaving T-Mobile even less able to compete?

Also at: c|net.

Original Submission

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Judge Approves $26 Billion Merger of T-Mobile and Sprint 22 comments

Judge approves $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint:

Shares of Sprint soared Tuesday after a U.S. District judge ruled in favor of its $26 billion deal to merge with T-Mobile.

The stock was up 75% Tuesday morning. It had risen after hours Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported the judge was expected to rule in favor of the deal. Shares of T-Mobile were up 10%.

The ruling clears one of the final hurdles for the deal, which still can't close until the California Public Utilities Commission approves the transaction. Tuesday's ruling also culminates a years-long courtship between Sprint and T-Mobile, which have made multiple attempts over the years to merge, only to abandon their plans fearing regulatory scrutiny.

Attorneys general from New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and D.C. originally brought the lawsuit to block the deal following approval from the Justice Department of Federal Communications Commission. The states had argued that combining the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. carriers would limit competition and result in higher prices for consumers. The companies had argued their merger would help them compete against top players AT&T and Verizon and advance efforts to build a nationwide 5G network.

In his decision filed Tuesday, Judge Victor Marrero wrote, "The resulting stalemate leaves the Court lacking sufficiently impartial and objective ground on which to rely in basing a sound forecast of the likely competitive effects of a merger."

Big Three Carriers Pay $10M to Settle Claims of False “Unlimited” Advertising 46 comments

T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T will pay a combined $10.2 million in a settlement with US states that alleged the carriers falsely advertised wireless plans as "unlimited" and phones as "free." The deal was announced yesterday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"A multistate investigation found that the companies made false claims in advertisements in New York and across the nation, including misrepresentations about 'unlimited' data plans that were in fact limited and had reduced quality and speed after a certain limit was reached by the user," the announcement said.

T-Mobile and Verizon agreed to pay $4.1 million each while AT&T agreed to pay a little over $2 million. The settlement includes AT&T subsidiary Cricket Wireless and Verizon subsidiary TracFone.
The carriers denied any illegal conduct despite agreeing to the settlement. In addition to payments to each state, the carriers agreed to changes in their advertising practices. It's unclear whether consumers will get any refunds out of the settlement, however.
The three carriers agreed that all advertisements to consumers must be "truthful, accurate and non-misleading." They also agreed to the following changes, the NY attorney general's office said:

  • "Unlimited" mobile data plans can only be marketed if there are no limits on the quantity of data allowed during a billing cycle.
  • Offers to pay for consumers to switch to a different wireless carrier must clearly disclose how much a consumer will be paid, how consumers will be paid, when consumers can expect payment, and any additional requirements consumers have to meet to get paid.
  • Offers of "free" wireless devices or services must clearly state everything a consumer must do to receive the "free" devices or services.
  • Offers to lease wireless devices must clearly state that the consumer will be entering into a lease agreement.
  • All "savings" claims must have a reasonable basis. If a wireless carrier claims that consumers will save using its services compared to another wireless carrier, the claim must be based on similar goods or services or differences must be clearly explained to the consumer.

The advertising restrictions are to be in place for five years.

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  • (Score: 2) by Coward, Anonymous on Wednesday November 20 2019, @08:29AM

    by Coward, Anonymous (7017) on Wednesday November 20 2019, @08:29AM (#922293) Journal

    If he's leaving T-Mobile, does that mean he's going to WeWork []? Can't say I ever liked the long-haired CEO look. It doesn't inspire business confidence.

  • (Score: 2) by jmichaelhudsondotnet on Wednesday November 20 2019, @12:20PM (1 child)

    by jmichaelhudsondotnet (8122) on Wednesday November 20 2019, @12:20PM (#922331) Journal

    I want to call attention to how this industry, mobile phones, is a giant cash cow, a way to literally print money.

    How is it operated? Punitively against the customer? Wtf is that even.

    Selling the location of anyone to bounty hunters as a side stream income plan.

    Changing the meaning of the word 'unlimited'.

    They call each other dumb and with credibility. (but why would you trust these people to regulate 5g radiation to your bed and/or to operate your listening and tracking device, I do not know, but I am starting to think this misplaced trust is hypnotic or psychotropic in nature)

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday November 21 2019, @12:19AM

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday November 21 2019, @12:19AM (#922728) Journal

      Butbutbutbut MUH SHAREHOLDER VALYOOZ! FREEDOM!! MONEY!!!! WHAH D'YEW HAYT UH-MURRIKAH?1!!!1111?one *dribbles in Libertarian*

      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...