Amazon is mulling the possibility of offering free or low-cost mobile services to Prime members, according to a new report.
Citing people familiar, Bloomberg News reported the online retail behemoth has been in talks for several weeks with Verizon, T-Mobile, Dish Network and AT&T to negotiate a deal using an existing network to provide the service as part of Prime subscriptions.
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Shares of Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T all fell in midday trading, while Dish – which Bloomberg reported “has the most to gain from a deal with Amazon” – saw a 20% boost.
|VZ||VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC.||34.60||-1.11||-3.12%|
|TMUS||T-MOBILE US INC.||129.93||-8.98||-6.46%|
|DISH||DISH NETWORK CORP.||7.41||+1.12||+17.91%|
A source told the outlet a potential deal would still take several months to get off the ground and could be scrapped entirely.
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An Amazon spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement, “We are always exploring adding even more benefits for Prime members, but don’t have plans to add wireless at this time.”
The buzz over the possibility of Amazon offering cell services is not new.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported the online retailer was working on a deal with Dish to sell phone plans through Amazon, which the outlet said “could give the telecom company’s 5G rollout a lifeline.”
In 2014, Amazon rolled out its own smartphone known as the Fire Phone, which operated on AT&T’s network, but later abandoned it when sales failed to take off.
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