Rank: 11 (Previous rank: 12)
CEO: Randall L. Stephenson
Was this company a 2011 top stock?
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Having taken a lot of heat about the quality of its wireless network last year, AT&T agreed to pay $39 billion for T-Mobile USA -- a smaller rival that once ran ads ridiculing its service. The combined entity -- which would have allowed AT&T to spread the cost of running a national network over an additional 34 million customers -- didn't manage to pass muster with the government. Now, the company is picking up the pieces -- which includes paying T-Mobile $3 billion in cash as well as access to $1 billion worth of AT&T-held wireless spectrum as per the original acquisition agreement.