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)

Reuters Showcase

Documentary Banned

Documentary Banned

Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India.  Full Article 

RBI Rate Cut

RBI Rate Cut

RBI surprises with post-budget rate cut.  Full Article 

Beef Ban

Beef Ban

After beef ban, Hindu groups force abattoirs to close   Full Article 

Insurance Reforms

Insurance Reforms

Opposition support bolsters prospects for insurance reforms.  Full Article 

Axed by Censors

Axed by Censors

India's censor blocks 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from cinemas.  Full Article 

Bollywood Focus

Bollywood Focus

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India expects better monsoon rains this year.  Full Article 

Reuters Interview

Reuters Interview

Budget lacks wow, but good enough: Jim O’Neill.  Full Article 

Slim Chances

Slim Chances

Dozens of miners missing, feared dead after blast in east Ukraine.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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