When AT&T tried to acquire T-Mobile back in 2011, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said that there was no way AT&T should be allowed by regulators to acquire T-Mobile — only Sprint should be allowed to acquire T-Mobile. It took three years, but Sprint will soon see how regulators feel about its plans to merge with T-Mobile. Hesse was incredibly vocal in opposing AT&T’s attempted T-Mobile takeover. While it looks like AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson won’t fight the Sprint/T-Mobile deal quite as vigorously, he did have some thoughts to share on the matter.

“The problem as I see it is the way the government shut our deal down. They wrote a complaint and a very specific complaint. You’re consolidating the industry from four to three national competitors,” Stephenson said during an event in Washington, D.C., according to Re/code. “If you think of Sprint and T-Mobile combining, I struggle to understand how that’s not four going to three.”

As far as T-Mobile is concerned, the worst-case scenario here is that it collects another massive breakup fee. AT&T paid out $3 billion in cash and another $1 billion or so in spectrum rights after its merger attempt fell through, and reports suggest Sprint has agreed to a $2 billion breakup fee.

Sprint is in a far worse position if the deal falls through, as the carrier continues to shed subscribers each quarter.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.