Telecom stocks fall on report Amazon considers launching mobile service for Prime members.
According to CNBC, Amazon is in talks with several wireless carriers about launching a mobile service for Prime members, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The news sent shares of telecom stocks lower Friday. Verizon fell more than four per cent in early trading, while T-Mobile slid as much as seven per cent. AT&T’s stock was down more than five per cent. Dish shares surged more than 14 per cent.
The e-retailer is negotiating with Verizon, T-Mobile, and Dish about the possibility of reselling their mobile service to its Prime members at low-cost or potentially free, Bloomberg reported. The discussions have been going on for six to eight weeks and have also included AT&T, but it could be several more months before a plan materializes, according to the report.
“We are always exploring adding even more benefits for Prime members, but don’t have plans to add wireless at this time,” Amazon spokesperson Bradley Mattinger said in a statement.
Amazon has previously experimented in the mobile category, launching its ill-fated Fire Phone in July 2014 before scrapping it a year later. More recently, it has focused on high-speed internet through its Kuiper programmed, which aimed to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit.
A mobile plan could serve as an attractive hook for Amazon to lure in more Prime subscribers. Launched in 2005, Amazon Prime members pay $139 a year for access to free two-day shipping, access to exclusive movies and TV shows, as well as newer benefits like generic prescription discounts and Grubhub delivery perks.
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