AT&T CFO “doesn't think” that the Sprint and T-Mobile merger is possible23
AT&T's Chief Marketing Officer,John Stephens, took the opportunity to comment on Sprint's apparent intent to acquire T-Mobile, USA's fourth largest carrier. Stephens saidthat AT&T has pushed for industry consolidation in the past,because of increasing data demands and capital requirements toupgrade networks amidst the shrinkage of available spectrum. However,he expressed skepticism towards the possibility of a Sprint/T-Mobilemerger, perhaps owing to AT&T's failed attempt to acquire T-Mo in2011. Due to regulatory disapproval, the $39 billion proposedtakeover crashed and burned. It ended with T-Mobile receiving $1 billion worth ofAT&T spectrum, while $3 billion was paid to Deutsche Telecom(T-mo's owners) in a "break-up fee". Having played and lostthis tricky game before, Stephens said that "it would besurprising" if the federal regulators decided to change theirminds and approve the deal. "I don't think they will." -added the CFO.
The AT&T CFO is also skepticalabout the carrier's business prospects in Europe. He confessed that"the window of opportunity on owning assets in Europe may beclosing". This uncertainty could be attributed to the company'srecent discouragement of acquiring Vodafone in Britain. For now, itseems that AT&T, jokingly referred to as the "Death Star",will retain its focus on the US side of the planet.