The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.
Tell us how you really feel about AT&T, John Legere.
The enigmatic T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO, whose Twitter profile picture makes him look more like an 80s hair metal icon than a corporate suit, has often had unflattering comments about his rivals.
Legere took his feud with AT&T to a whole other level Tuesday. And he apparently has a new foe as well: Amazon (AMZN).
The Kindle maker (and enemy of book publisher Hachette) is widely expected to unveil a 3-D smartphone at an event in Seattle on Wednesday. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday, Amazon is said to be making the phone an exclusive for AT&T subscribers.
Legere went nuts about this. Here are his tweets.
Ouch. Now to be fair, T-Mobile is said to be in talks to merge with Sprint (S). That's a deal that will also make two biggish companies a lot bigger. The combined firm would have almost as many subscribers as AT&T and Verizon (VZ). But I digress.
T-Mobile is based in Bellevue, Washington. Maybe Legere and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos can settle their differences at a Mariners' game? While sipping a Starbucks (SBUX) latte? And listening to Pearl Jam? In the rain?
Read the next sentences like Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live. Do you remember when AT&T wanted to buy T-Mobile in 2011 and the government said no? That was awesome.
I agree ... which is yet another reason why I hope Legere doesn't agree to a Sprint deal. It's hard to be an "uncarrier" with about 100 million subscribers.
The HTC First -- aka the Facebook (FB) phone -- was a disaster. It's sort of like the New Coke of smartphones.
This is a bit of a low blow. The article that Legere links to is a great one. But it was written in 2009.
Yes, many people still do not like AT&T. Still, it is unfair to re-surface an article from five years ago as evidence of AT&T's "failures."
I could rightfully claim that Netflix's (NFLX) streaming business was a failure in 2009 because it offered little more than old movies. That was true then. Not now.
AT&T had no comment about Legere's tweets. Amazon was not immediately available for comment.
And to play devil's advocate, you also have to wonder if Legere would turn down an offer from a major hardware company to make T-Mobile an exclusive carrier for a new phone.
It's, of course, a moot point. Most companies now realize it's silly to have their new products on just one carrier. Apple (AAPL) is not going to suddenly decide that just one company should get the iPhone 6, iPhone Air or whatever the next iPhone is going to be called.
Still, would Legere really say no to an exclusive ... for the good of the industry?
But these are minor nitpicks. Considering that most CEOs are dreadfully boring to talk to and many shun social media entirely, Legere's candor is refreshing. Heck, it makes my job a lot more fun. Sometimes, that's all you can ask for.
Most people don't think of credit card companies as being warm and fuzzy but that's not stopping investors from buying.
Visa's stock hit a new 52-week high Tuesday and MasterCard is just shy of that mark for its stock.
It's been a long road.
Back in 2005, a group of merchants sued Visa (V), MasterCard (MA) and other credit card processors for allegedly conspiring to fix so-called swipe fees at unfairly high levels. MORECatherine Tymkiw - Nov 20, 2012 12:46 PM ET
Could MetroPCS finally be getting its knight in shining armor? Investors sure think so.
Deutsche Telekom confirmed Tuesday that it was in talks with MetroPCS to merge the beleaguered wireless carrier with its T-Mobile USA unit.
MetroPCS has been bleeding subscribers. But it has a nice cash cushion. At the end of the second quarter, MetroPCS had $2.3 billion of cash and cash equivalents, and short-term investments. That's nothing to sneeze MORECatherine Tymkiw - Oct 2, 2012 12:35 PM ET
In a classic case of be careful what you wish for, shares of AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) both tumbled more than 2% Friday morning even though pre-orders for Apple's (AAPL) eagerly anticipated iPhone 5 sold out in under an hour. Meanwhile, Apple hit another all-time high and continued its march toward $700.
Why are investors dumping Big Red and Ma Bell? My colleague David Goldman has already explained how the MOREPaul R. La Monica - Sep 14, 2012 11:27 AM ET
Investors have plenty of questions about the future of RadioShack following a dismal earnings report, but the electronics retail is still claiming to have the answers.
As it delivered a surprise $21 million loss for the second quarter, RadioShack (RSH) said it would also suspend its dividend program to help bolster its balance sheet. A balance sheet that's saddled with $679 million of debt, including an upcoming debt maturity of $375 MOREHibah Yousuf - Jul 25, 2012 12:25 PM ET
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