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Business

T-Mobile turns clients into shareholders

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.

Shrewd investment

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)

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