AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Apple look to put their “flexible access”


Dallas, Texas 09/30/2013 (Financialstrend) – AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)  shares have been under pressure for the past few months. It is down by close to 1% in the past five days and by close to 2.8% in the past 90 days. The share price was down 0.73% from its previous day close of $34.23 as of close on business on September 27.

Friday’s dip in share price was largely driven by tentative go ahead U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Whyte provided to AT&T and Apple to settle lawsuits pertaining to discontinuation of unlimited 3G data plans for iPad tablet purchasers.

Judge Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose ruled that he is giving an in principle go ahead for the settlement plan which involves both Apple and AT&T compensating wronged customers. AT&T through its subsidiary AT&T mobility will provide inconvenienced customers “$20 discount on their monthly bills for using 5GB iPad data plans” while Apple will pay $40 cash to wronged customers.

The Judgment termed the proposed settlement offer “fair, reasonable, and adequate” and has posted the case for February 7 for a final hearing.

The lawsuit was necessitated due to huge number of complaints which were filed in 2010. The complainants claimed that the two companies misrepresented their “flexible access” data plan which caused iPad 3G customers to pay more for the tablets. Till 2011, AT&T and Apple were locked in an exclusive relationship thanks to which AT&T was the sole network provider for Apple’s smart phones and tablets.

AT&T is United States largest phone network provider and has a market capitalization of $182 billion. It has over 245,350 employees with sales of over $127 billion over the past 12 months trailing period.  Its sales on a quarter on quarter compare rose marginally by 1.6%. The phone network provider has recorded a dividend yield of 5.3% for the year.