AT&T kicks T-Mobile CEO out of its CES party

Wed Jan 8, 2014 8:42am IST

T-Mobile CEO John Legere gives an interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files

T-Mobile CEO John Legere gives an interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, May 1, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid/Files

Stocks

   

REUTERS - The escalating battle between No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider AT&T Inc (T.N) and smaller rival T-Mobile US (TMUS.N) got personal on Monday night when the bigger operator kicked T-Mobile's outspoken Chief Executive John Legere out of its party at the Consumer Electronics Show, according to Cnet.com.

The latest sign of an increasingly testy relationship between the two companies, which tried to merge in 2011, comes as they fight for each other's customers. AT&T said last week it would pay T-Mobile customers to switch.

According to a Cnet.com report, Legere was escorted out of the Las Vegas event by security guards about 15 minutes after Cnet reporter Roger Cheng posted a picture of himself and Legere and tweeted that the executive had crashed AT&T's party wearing his trademark pink T-Mobile t-shirt.

Around the same time that Legere was being escorted out, AT&T's mobility chief Ralph de la Vega was announcing that his company had won a deal to provide wireless connections to Audi vehicles, beating T-Mobile US, Cnet reported.

According to the Cnet report, Legere went to the party because he wanted to see a performance by rapper Macklemore, whose agent gave the executive and his entourage a pass for the party.

While AT&T and T-Mobile did not respond to requests for comment, Legere retweeted multiple tweets about the incident, including Cheng's tweet that Legere was kicked out.

Legere, an outspoken critic of his industry rivals, spent most of 2013 directly marketing against AT&T in particular. AT&T is most vulnerable to competition from T-Mobile because both companies have the same network technology, which makes it easy for consumers to switch between their services without having to buy new phones.

AT&T fought back by launching an offer on January 3 to T-Mobile customers for a $200 credit if they switch to AT&T. Legere responded in a tweet directed at AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson asking "do you really think you can buy them back?"

Legere has been tweeting heavily to build up anticipation for his company's next competitive move, which is to be announced at a January 8 CES press conference.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Uber Trouble

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Lakhvi's Bail

Lakhvi's Bail

Pakistan court bails man accused of masterminding Mumbai attack.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Coal Unions

Coal Unions

Coal India workers threaten five-day strike, stokes output worries.  Full Article 

Space Programme

Space Programme

ISRO tests its heaviest space launch vehicle, eyes global market.  Full Article 

Peshawar attack

Peshawar Attack

Some Pakistan militants denounce school attack, amid national outrage.  Full Article 

Uber Again

Uber Again

Uber driver in Boston charged with kidnapping and rape.  Full Article 

Discounts

Discounts

Dealers offer gold discount for first time in five months.  Full Article 

"PK" in Cinemas

"PK" in Cinemas

Secret of year's "biggest" Bollywood film is its plot.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage