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)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

The Big IPO

Reuters Showcase

Hardware Push

Hardware Push

Amazon expands Kindle lineup, boosts price of basic e-reader.  Full Article 

Banking on PlayStation

Banking on PlayStation

Sony hopes for PlayStation profit boost as smartphones struggle.  Full Article 

Apple Update

Apple Update

Bug delays Apple's HealthKit availability on iOS 8.  Full Article | Related Story 

Infosys -Huawei Deal

Infosys-Huawei Deal

Infosys partners with China's Huawei for cloud-based projects  Full Article 

New iPads

New iPads

Apple to unveil new iPads, operating system on Oct. 21 - report.  Full Article 

Data Security

Data Security

Apple hiring manager to handle China government data requests  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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