Financial 411: AT&T Inks Deal to Acquire T-Mobile
Monday, March 21, 2011
A Closer Look at the Merger
The ink on the deal is barely dry, but if AT&T's $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile is approved, T-Mobile subscribers will have to replace their current 3G phones. That is, if they want to keep wireless broadband service. AT&T, the nation's second largest wireless carrier, announced on Sunday that it will buy T-Mobile, creating the nation's largest wireless network, and knocking Verizon from that spot. But the acquisition will need approval from regulators, and that could take at least a year to complete. So T-Mobile users shouldn't rush out to buy a new phone just yet.
The merger would add nearly 34 million subscribers to AT&T's 96 million, making AT&T the nation's biggest wireless company. Fortune's Executive Editor, Stephanie Mehta, has covered the wireless and telecommunications industry for many years. She talks about whether the deal will mean better — and costlier — service for cell phone users, as well as the possible implications of the merger for the industry.
Home Sales Fall, Again
The National Association of Realtors said home sales fell nearly 10 percent last month. Those who did purchase a home got steep discounts. Home prices fell to the lowest levels in nearly nine years. New Yorkers were relatively lucky. Sales were flat compared to a year ago, and prices fell only one percent.
Supreme Court Requires Fed to Release Loan Information
The Supreme Court has dealt a blow to the Federal Reserve's policy of secrecy. The nation's central bank had fought to prevent two news organizations from getting details about emergency loans the Fed made to big banks in 2008 Today, the Supreme Court effectively upheld an earlier ruling requiring the Fed release the loan information. The Fed said it will comply.
In Japan, workers are still trying to restore electricity to a leaking nuclear power plant, to get water flowing to cool the reactors. Still, the crisis doesn't appear to have worsened, and stocks across the globe went up. The Dow gained 178 points to close at 12,037. The S&P added 19 points to end at 1,298. The Nasdaq was up 48 points, to close at 2,692.
Previewing the Business Week Ahead
WNYC's Business and Economics Editor Charlie Herman said traders are likely to remain focused on what's happening in Japan, Libya and the Middle East, in terms of rising oil prices. We'll also see the latest figures on new home sales later this week. And the U.S. Census will be releasing data for New York State. That data will affect redistricting in the Assembly, Senate and Congressional districts.