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
116 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
116 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
116 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
116 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
116 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
116 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

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...