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AT&T CEO says Sprint/T-Mobile merger isn’t happening

Published Jun 18th, 2014 12:03PM EDT
Sprint T-Mobile Acquisition

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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
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

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.