Deutsche Telekom's US subsidiary, T-Mobile US, has announced it is expanding its customer loyalty program by giving away shares to account holders. It said the move is a first in the history of publicly traded companies.
T-Mobile US said it would offer a free share form its common stock to each existing primary account holder. It added such a share worth roughly $43 (38 euros) would also be given to people who were willing to switch to T-Mobile under a qualified plan.
"USA Today" reported the "Stock Up" scheme would not apply to business and government account holders.
Analysts said the move of the third-largest wireless carrier in the US was quite unusual, with T-Mobile itself claiming that no other publicly traded company the world over had ever done anything like it.
Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert said there would be no dilution of T-Mobile stock as it the subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Telekom was not intending to issue any extra shares as a result of the program.
Customers were assured the free stock offer would come with no strings attached, meaning clients-turned-shareholders would be allowed to hold the stock, transfer it or sell it at any given time as they pleased.
"USA Today" added the program was part of a wider loyalty initiative, including offering free streaming on popular music and video services. Moves like that have helped T-Mobile win over at least a million new subscribers for 12 consecutive quarters.
hg/cjc (Reuters, USA Today)