T-Mobile USA lost a record number of subscribers in the first quarter. That's posing a conundrum for regulators as they look at whether to let AT&T Inc. buy the smaller carrier for $39 billion.
The argument against the deal is that it would eliminate one competitor in the wireless industry. But judging by results reported Friday, T-Mobile isn't competing successfully.
T-Mobile, the smallest of the four national carriers, lost a net 471,000 subscribers on contract-based plans. It was able to add subscribers through wholesalers, who pay much less than contract-signing customers, but it still lost 99,000 overall. Both figures are record losses for T-Mobile. It's the Bellevue, Wash.-based subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany.
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