HomeBUSINESSWireless stocks fell reported that Amazon was in talks to get the...

Wireless stocks fell reported that Amazon was in talks to get the lowest possible wholesale prices

Major U.S. wireless carriers said Friday they are not negotiating with Amazon to offer low-cost wireless service to its Prime members. Wireless stocks fell on Friday  reported that Amazon was in talks to get the lowest possible wholesale prices and could offer Prime members wireless plans for $10 a month or less through partnerships, including a possible tie-up with Dish Network.

“We are constantly exploring adding more benefits to Prime members, but at this time we have no plans to add wireless connectivity,” an Amazon spokesman says.

“AT&T is not negotiating with Amazon to resell wireless services,” a company spokesman said. A Verizon spokesperson said the company “is not negotiating with Amazon to sell (Verizon) wireless.” Our company is always open to new and potential opportunities, but we have nothing to report at this time.”

T-Mobile “said we are not in discussions to include our wireless in Prime, and Amazon told us it has no plans to add wireless service.”

Several analysts said the online retail giant’s entry could lead to major disruptions in the telecom space as it could offer cheaper plans in a country with some of the highest wireless fees in the world.

“Amazon could certainly put a lot of weight on it and trip up competitors,” said Christopher Ali, a professor of telecommunications at Penn State University. “We could actually see cell phone prices come down, which would be a great thing.”

Amazon shares rose 1.2%, while Verizon and AT&T fell more than 3% and T-Mobile fell 6.4%. Brandon Nispel of KeyBanc Capital Markets said Dish Network, a relatively new wireless company, could be the most likely partner for Amazon.

He said the deal would give Dish access to financing that could help build out its network, while other carriers are unlikely to work with Amazon because they “obviously don’t want to change the status quo in the industry.”

Shares of Dish rose 17%. They also rallied in May following a Wall Street Journal report that Dish was in talks to sell its wireless plans through Amazon.

For Amazon, the deal could draw more customers to its Prime service at a time when growth has stagnated in key markets including the US.

The company’s revenue growth slowed to a 20-year low in 2022 as businesses and consumers cut back on spending in a tough economy.

“Such a move could have several potential benefits, including improving Prime retention rates, allowing for a modest increase in annual subscription costs and giving Amazon a direct channel into the lucrative multibillion-dollar mobile phone sales and financing market,” said Michael Ashley. Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital Advisors.

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