(Corrects stock price in paragraph 2 to down 1.3 percent at $43.07)
By Malathi Nayak
June 6 (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc said on Monday it will give a share of the wireless company’s stock to customers who hold a postpaid or monthly account for free to turn its customers into shareholders.
Shares of T-Mobile were down 1.3 percent at $43.07 in afternoon trading.
T-Mobile, which dubs itself the “Un-carrier,” said in a statement it will offer a “full share of T-Mobile US (TMUS) common stock to millions of existing and new customers.” The plan called “Stock Up” is available to customers who hold a postpaid service plan, which are paid for on a monthly basis, and not prepaid customers.
“This has never been done before,” by a public company, chief executive John Legere said on a media call after the announcement.
Legere has led the rollout of a series of consumer-friendly offers in the past three years, such as the free video streaming option “Binge On” and data rollover plans, some of which have been copied by rivals. These have helped T-Mobile gain market share as it fights a price war in an oversaturated wireless market with Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc , as well as smaller competitor Sprint Corp.
T-Mobile, the No.3 U.S. wireless company, said in a statement it has also launched a “T-Mobile Tuesdays” app to give its postpaid and prepaid customers weekly perks such as free food, movie tickets and ride shares through partnerships with firms such as Domino’s Pizza Inc and Lyft. Moroever, it will offer an hour of free Wi-Fi to customers on domestic flights that have Gogo Wi-Fi connectivity.
The “Stock Up” is not a primary issue and “will not be dilutive to any existing shareholders,” executives said on the media call.
T-Mobile’s brokerage partner will buy its shares and offer them to customers and the company will cover all charges associated with the stock allocation, they added.
Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile, controlled by Deutsche Telekom, said it added 2.2 million customers on a net basis in the first quarter ended March 31. (Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Andrew Hay)