Deutsche Telekom has sold the US arm of mobile network T-Mobile to rival AT&T for a reported $39 billion, creating a company with a combined user base of around 130 million.
The deal sees AT&T shelling out $25 billion in cash and a further $14 billion in stock to buy the company from its German owner, relaunching T-Mobile USA as an AT&T brand - providing the agreement is granted regulatory approval.
The shares part of the deal will leave Deutsche Telekom in control of around eight per cent of AT&T, and is not thought to impact other T-Mobile brands across the world - including T-Mobile UK - which will remain under Deutsche Telekom's control.
The deal comes about, AT&T claims, due to T-Mobile USA's lack of transition plan to a high-speed 4G network, known as Long Term Evolution. AT&T, for its part, has an LTE network already in place - and this deal will allow the company to expand its coverage into additional areas using T-Mobile masts and equipment.
"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future," said AT&T head Randall Stephenson of the deal. "It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people."
"After evaluating strategic options for T-Mobile USA, I am confident that AT&T is the best partner for our customers, shareholders and the mobile broadband ecosystem," agreed Deutsche Telekom boss René Obermann. "Our common network technology [GSM] makes this a logical combination and provides an efficient path to gaining the spectrum and network assets needed to provide T-Mobile customers with 4G LTE and the best devices."
According to figures released by the company, the deal will see AT&T's revenue from its wireless business jump from $58.5 billion to $80 billion - around 80 per cent of the company's overall revenue.