Sprint’s Hesse now says he can’t let T-Mobile/AT&T deal happen
It wasn’t too long ago that I sat in the audience at CTIA when Hesse, de la Vega, and Mead all shared the stage with Jim Cramer. During that discussion, Hesse (unless my brain had vapor lock) clearly said Sprint wouldn’t oppose the deal, he didn’t care, and didn’t think it would stifle competition. Oh what a couple of weeks make!
“We just cannot let this happen,” Hesse said today at an event in San Francisco. “If the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger is allowed to go forward it can also push the wireless industry from competition to duopoly.”
This was announced a day before CTIA stated and was THE topic of conversation that week. Hesse did a great job in the sessions, and one of the few that appeared to have a sense of humor that we all appreciated.
Hesse stated the merger would put control of 80 percent of the wireless industry revenue into the hands of the two carriers, the combined T-Mobile-AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Regulators should consider what impact the merger will have on consumer prices as well as innovation. The merger could restrict access to device makers among smaller wireless companies. With the buying power of the two largest wireless companies, “they could restrict access to some of the cool devices.”
It’s not surprising that Sprint has now taken the position. What’s surprising is a couple of weeks ago I heard him say they didn’t care.