AT&T CFO “doesn't think” that the Sprint and T-Mobile merger is possible

AT&T CFO “doesn't think” that the Sprint and T-Mobile merger is possible

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.

On the other side of the spectrum,Masayoshi Son - CEO of SoftBank, the Japanese company which ownsSprint, is full of enthusiasm about the merger. He said that theconsolidation has the potential to bring a "massive price war"and ignite healthy competition in the US market. But the regulators'response so far has only reaffirmed Stephens' skepticism. SoftBankand Sprint's meetings with the DOJ and FCC made it clear that USofficials prefer the current status quo of four large carriers, eventhough 75% of the US wireless market is spread between Verizon andAT&T. It's possible that the regulators would like to see whetherthe growing "Un-carrier" will manage to even out customerdistribution on its own in the coming years. Meanwhile, Son believesthat a merger with Sprint is the only way to challenge theVerizon-AT&T duopoly, and has already raised financing for themerger from a number of American banks. Being wary of paying a hugebreak-up fee, Son won't be quick to announce SoftBank's intentions,but he believes that the deal "must be given a shot".

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.

via FierceWireless



1. axllebeer

Posts: 272; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

We shall see I suppose. As much work as Sprint has been doing upgrading the towers for improved CDMA and LTE I can't imagine they want to do it again if they were to transition over to GSM, which really is the best thing to do from what I can see IF they go through with this.

2. papss unregistered

I don't see them allowing a merger

21. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Not. Gonna. Happen. Masayoshi is all full of himself - just because he thinks it would be a good deal, doesn't mean the DoJ and FCC agree. There is a real world outside the SoftBank bubble. He needs to spend more time in the real world.

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I want this to follow through, get denied, and have Son give T-Mobile $3 billion in cash and spectrum. Now, if Legere is running the show and Sprint switches to GSM (unlikely), then I'm all in.

12. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Will never happen and they will never switch to HSPA... Why would they and why does even care? Everything will be LTE in a few years.

15. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012


4. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

I explained to alot of people that the AT&T - Tmobile was a good idea because it would an easy transition.............but there were plenty of people that ripped on me about it NOW theres doubt about the Sprint - Tmobile merger!! You cant have a merger that involves GSM and CDMA because of network incapabilities. You might as well leave Tmobile the way it is because the only company that can merge with them is AT&T. There are those that will think that Im crazy, but you have to be realistic

6. Zenzui

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

ATT and Tmobile merger is one of the worst idea ever. If this goes thru in the past. All the people under GSM would get ripped off by ATT. However for sprint and tmobile merge it is 2 different type of service (GSM and CDMA). I will leave this option open on how this would be tackled.

10. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I was all for the merger. Better coverage and still cheaper than Verizon.

8. Lmao2013

Posts: 44; Member since: Dec 05, 2013

If I'm not mistaken metro pcs was CDMA and it merge with tmobile GSM network.. N I'm not sure but I think metro pcs now supports GSM.

9. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Yes, it does. T-Mobile is slowly shifting MPCS customers to GSM phones and onto their network.

20. andynaija

Posts: 1261; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Also T-Mobile will start to decommission the former CDMA network towards the end of the year.

5. silencer271

Posts: 254; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Not happening FCC stated they wanted a 4 carrier battle. A 4 carrier battle is what they will get

7. Kishin

Posts: 706; Member since: May 30, 2013

No way It won't happen

11. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

And people don't WANT AT&T to merge with t mobile

13. MrWilli5

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 13, 2011

sprint sucks i hope tmobile and sprint don't merge


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

He's just bitter because he couldn't push it through and had to cough up billions in concession. Personally, I'd love to see T-Mobile and Sprint together aka "Dumb and Dumber".

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

This "dumb" company gives me five bars of unlimited LTE almost everywhere in Chicago and that's all that matters to me.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Which one: T-Mobile or Sprint?

18. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012


19. papss unregistered

I get that it works for you due to your situation but the vast majority of folks can't use tmob due to its Swiss cheese coverage in many many areas. Anyone that has to go anywhere other than select cities should avoid them at all cost. glad it works for you though...

23. theuwilliam

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 10, 2013

Your comment, "Dumb and Dumber" made me laugh -- not that I agree with the dub.

22. tokuzumi

Posts: 1919; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

If sprint becomes T-Mobile, this will be a better merger than if T-Mobile becomes Sprint. T-Mobile has done a pretty good job with the Metro PCS buyout. Everything Sprint buys turns to lead. The Motorola buyout didn't give them much but heartache (different network technologies, two sets of phones to support, etc). Their investment in Clearwire was a waste of money. They own Boost and Virgin, but need to allow any of their phones on those networks. I loved the unlimited mobile to any mobile they started a few years back, but overall, Sprint has a black thumb when it comes to making things grow.

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