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T-Mobile CEO changes tune, says Sprint merger would help fight AT&T-Verizon duopoly

Zach Epstein
January 28th, 2014 at 11:17 AM
T-Mobile Sprint Merger

When T-Mobile CEO John Legere first addressed rumors that Sprint and parent company SoftBank might make a play to acquire T-Mobile USA, he openly bashed Sprint and its network. But in a sign that such a deal may in fact be in the works, the outspoken CEO has softened his stance in recent days and stated on several occasions that a potential Sprint-T-Mobile merger has several upsides.

In a recent interview with NPR, Legere said that a takeover by Sprint could be a good thing as long as he and his executive team are called upon to run the combined entity. Now, in a more recent chat with Bloomberg West picked up by FierceWireless, Legere not only sounded more open to the idea of a merger, but went even further to state that it might actually be a good thing.

“If the government wants us to have a competitive environment, you are going to make sure that the duopoly doesn’t use their prowess to crush the little guys and have this sub-1 GHz spectrum be moved all to them,” Legere said during the interview.

He continued, “We’re all going to need better scale and capability. The question starts to be: How do you take the maverick and supercharge it? We either need more spectrum and capability, a lot more investment, or we need consolidation.”

Subscribers thus far have not seemed to share Legere’s new opinion, as many are worried that a Sprint takeover would ultimately put an end to many of T-Mobile’s appealing Uncarrier offerings. Regulators may see things similarly — an analyst with Medley Global Advisors said that regulators may block a potential T-Mobile-Sprint merger in order to ensure that T-Mobile’s affordable prices are maintained.

A recent Cowen and Company study found that at $120 per month on average, T-Mobile customers enjoy the least expensive wireless service in the country among the four major nationwide carriers.

Zach Epstein

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.

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