AT&T and Sprint Trade Barbs Over T-Mobile Merger

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has been a constant critic of the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, hammering the deal as bad for competition and bad for consumers. However, Hesse said yesterday that he isn't an opponent of all telecom mergers, but believes that the Department of Justice would view an alternate merger pair -- such as T-Mobile and Sprint, perhaps -- very differently.

However, if such a hypothetical deal were reached, “You could make a very, very strong argument” that the antitrust regulators would approve it, Hesse said. He said the hypothetical combination of of two value players could allow a strong competitor to Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

AT&T's head lobbyist, Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs had harsh words for Hesse in response:

Yesterday, the CEO of Sprint said the Department of Justice should block AT&T from merging with T-Mobile, but would have good reasons to instead allow Sprint to purchase them. For months Sprint has spoken disingenuously about their motives for opposing AT&T's merger with T-Mobile. Now, Mr. Hesse's public musings have made their motives much more clear. That they would act in their own economic interest is not surprising. That they would expect the United States Government to be a willing partner certainly is.

A federal judge set a mid-February 2012 trial date to hear the Department of Justice's arguments for blocking the merger, but denied Sprint's request to join the DoJ's suit.


Dan Hesse and Sprint have a poor track record regarding large mergers. When Sprint and Nextel merged in 2005, the companies said the value of the merged company would be $70 billion. Today, Sprint's market cap is just over $9 billion.

Sprint's stock price is down more than 80% since Dan Hesse took over as CEO in December 2007.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
119 months ago

Nice corporate love-triangle going on here. Someone should make a movie.


In a world where three cell phone companies are in love...

Data Prices are STILL ridiculous

Starring that guy from "The Social Network" as Sprint, Brett Favre as AT&T who just constantly teases to buy T-Mobile, and the "Can you hear me now?" guy as Verizon

On the internet in December 2012

*active 10gb data plan required
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago
you know somethings up when Verizon CEO tacitly approves of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

Can anyone say duopoly?

to anyone who seriously thinks the end user will benefit from a AT&T/T-Mobile merger is laughable. consumers will lose, and corporations and their top tiered executives will win.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago
The basis of the DOJ challenging the deal is that it eliminates T-Mobile, gives users one less choice and also gets rid of a value priced carrier.

A Sprint-T-Mobile merger would do the same thing. One less choice for consumers, and a value priced carrier is eliminated. Then the succeeding company could raise their prices, not to that of AT&T and Verizon but still higher than they currently are.

Hesse's argument is a red herring. Whether it's AT&T or Sprint who is buying T-Mobile, there will be the same end result.

That being said, AT&T is a much better match. Sprint is still integrating Nextel. Adding a whole new technology to the mix would be a disaster.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago

I would be interested in only two US carriers if they can then have the bargaining power to push around Apple more and force carrier branding on the front of the iPhone.


Why on earth would that be a reason for anything? Even a joke?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago
Why do people keep calling it a merger? Its a takeover. If you're a mid level manager at T-mobile then you should already be looking for a new job
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
119 months ago
"When Sprint and Nextel merged in 2005, the companies said the value of the merged company would be $70 billion. Today, Sprint's market cap is just over $9 billion."

Dan Hesse must have this poster hung over his desk...


Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...