T-Mobile Acquires Mint Mobile

Will Mint Mobile increase their prices now that they've been purchased by T-Mobile? Mint's whole campaigns is about beating big wireless, then they sell to big wireless; seems so lame, and not good for consumers.

Comments for T-Mobile Acquires Mint Mobile

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 20, 2023
Yes and No NEW
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Good question! Technically he sold Mint Mobile to T-Mobile, HOWEVER, while the deal was agreed to (and I assume signed) as of today the deal hasn't yet completed.

They're still undergoing regulatory approval, which, until that goes through, the deal isn't complete. In other words, Ryan Reynolds would still remain a partial owner. In fact, until the deal is closed, both T-Mobile and Mint Mobile are legally required to operate as business as usual.

When articles talk about the deal as if it's completed and Ryan Reynolds has moved on, I see that as misleading, and likely just because the people writing those articles don't know the details, and haven't put in any time to research the actual status of the deal.

Oct 20, 2023
Did Ryan Reynolds Already Sell Mint? NEW
by: Anonymous

I keep reading articles about Ryan Reynolds having sold Mint, but I didn't think it's actually a done deal yet. Did I miss something?

Jul 19, 2023
We'll see! NEW
by: Anonymous

These MVNOs claim to be fighting against the big carriers, and even Mint has commercials about sticking it to Big Wireless, however, at the end of the day it's all about the money.

T-Mobile makes them a big enough offer and they sell out. Now, certainly, they can't "stick it to T-Mobile" when they're owned by T-Mobile. So while they may not be able to increase prices right away, certain over time they will. Or at least they won't be so strongly competitive as to force T-Mobile to make their own competitive moves.

T-Mobile now has a portfolio of products to manage, and they're surely not going to waste resources having their brands, T-Mobile, Mint, Ultra, Metro, compete amongst themselves. That simply makes no sense.

Jul 14, 2023
Will They Increases Prices?
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

So just to frame things up, in March 2003 T-Mobile announced that it had acquired Mint Mobile. Mint is actually part of a portfolio of brands, including Mint Mobile, Ultra Mobile, and Plum (their wholesale division). These all live under the corporate entity of Ka'ena Corporation. T-Mobile acquired Ka'ena, which includes everything under it.

While this acquisition was announced in March, there's a LONG process that was required for approval, including DOJ (Department Of Justice) and FCC approvals, among other things. The timeline for these processes to complete is unknown but can take many months, and even a year or more. At the time of writing this, the acquisition has not yet been approved, however, there's no reason to believe that it won't be as Mint (and the other brands) are pretty tiny compared to the other acquisitions by MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) in recent years (ex. TracFone acquired by Verizon).

Now to your question. Will they raise rates? Well, first of all, as part of the regulatory review, the entire spirit of that process is to ensure that acquisitions like this do NOT negatively impact competition and hurt customers. As an MVNO, Mint must pay T-Mobile wholesale rates for network usage. This means that they have a higher cost than they will under T-Mobile proper. i.e. They will have what the industry refers to as Carrier Economics, which means lower costs than they do as an MVNO.

Thus, in theory, keeping the same low rates will be even more profitable under T-Mobile. In fact, arguably they could even LOWER rates. So that raises the question, will T-Mobile want to increase rates to basically cripple what was a competitor? 

First of all, the regulators won't allow this to happen; at least not for some number of years. Secondly, that's likely not to T-Mobile's benefit as they purchased these brands to better position themselves in the marketplace to compete.

Mint Mobile is a direct to consumer model, which is how they're able to offer lower rates by cutting out the margins normally paid to the middleman (i.e. retailers/dealers). Mint is actually one of the most successful D2C brands in the country, and that's what T-Mobile is purchasing. Raising rates wouldn't make sense.

In addition, historically, T-Mobile has sucked in the wireless dealer channel where these stores carry multiple brands. While Ultra Mobile is pretty small compared to other providers in this space, they have increasing mind share, and perform way better than T-Mobile. So, again, there's no real incentive for them to disrupt what these brands are doing in the market.
So couldn't T-Mobile just do these things on their own? Well, yes, however, using these other brands allows them to not erode their T-Mobile brands. Think about what they did with Metro PCS. For over a decade after acquisition, they basically left that brand alone as essentially a separate department. Only recently did they start using the branding "Metro by T-Mobile" and dumped the "PCS" branding. I expect similar treatment with Mint/Ultra.

Also, while $1.35 billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, and it is; for a company the size of T-Mobile it's really a drop in the bucket. It's like a middle class family buying a $2K purse; sure it's a lot of money, but doesn't really hit the radar of family finances. I hope this makes sense?

So, will they raise prices? At some point down the line, maybe, but for the foreseeable future, I'd say absolutely NOT, and, in fact, we're likely to see even better pricing, or the same pricing with more value (i.e. more data, faster speeds, etc.).


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Prepaid Wireless Questions.

Be Heard!  Let prepaid wireless providers know what you want; fill out the survey now.

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.