All of the Cell Phone Companies That Have Been Swallowed Up by the Big Three (AT&T, Verizon, and T.Mobile)

Some of the business world’s biggest deals have come from the telecommunications sector. This infographic shows the scope of these huge mergers, and the journey of how multiple telecom companies became a big 3. As you can see, the three heavy hitters today are AT&T, Verizon, and T. Mobile. Out of these, AT&T has the most subscribers by far. One of the most major deals AT&T made was a merger with Cingular Wireless in 2006. Another significant deal many of us heard about in the news was the T.Mobile absorption of Sprint. This infographic makes it clear that a once diverse group of telecom companies has shrunk significantly.


Because the landscape has changed so much it should come as no surprise that the US Justice Department has examined these often billion-dollar deals. Because these three companies are absorbing so many others, they risk breaking monopolies laws. In fact, the Justice Department stopped AT&T from making a huge merger deal with T. Mobile. Because AT&T would have 43% of the market share of cell phone users if the deal went through, the Justice Department made them drop the proposed merger. The Justice Department did try to intervene in the Sprint and T.Mobile merger as well, but eventually the deal was finalized in 2020.

Nothing has stopped companies like AT&T from making other huge business deals. They became the exclusive carrier for Apple’s iPhone until 2011 when Verizon started working with the brand too. When giant companies like these collaborate, they create record-breaking deals and mergers to the tune of millions and billions.

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