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Sprint CEO Dan Hesse says AT&T, T-Mobile deal will ‘stifle innovation’

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse on Tuesday shared strong opinions surrounding AT&T’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire T-Mobile USA from Europe’s Deutsche Telekom. Speaking on Tuesday morning at the CTIA Wireless 2011 convention, Hesse said AT&T’s plans to acquire T-Mobile will hurt customers. He also said that if approved by regulators, the deal would leave two big players — AT&T and Verizon Wireless — in control of 79% of the U.S. wireless market. “I do have concerns that it would stifle innovation and too much power would be in the hands of two,” Hesse said during a roundtable discussion. His comments were met with applause from the audience. Hesse added that Sprint will appeal to Congress in an effort to halt the merger. AT&T Mobility boss Ralph de la Vega defended the deal on Tuesday, saying it would address the spectrum shortage the U.S. is currently facing, and would bring mobile broadband service to more people. Verizon Wireless CEO Daniel Mead, who was in attendance at the roundtable discussion, seemed less concerned with the potential merger. “We’re observing what’s going on,” Mead noted. “We’re not going to get distracted by this.”

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.