Sprint's Dan Hesse brings 'nukes' to stop AT&T-Mobile merger, Sprint's survival is at stake

Sprint's Dan Hesse brings 'nukes' to stop AT&T-Mobile merger, Sprint's survival is at stake
Up until now, Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse has been the most outspoken critic of the $39 billion merger between AT&T and the country's fourth largest carrier T-Mobile. But to stop something of this scale you need big guns like nukes and that's symbolically exactly what the chief executive is mapping out on his whiteboards in red, blue and green ink.

“Clearly, purely, we want to win and block the merger,” Hesse stressed in an interview for Bloomberg. “This one poses real risks.”

That's why Sprint's man in charge has tripled the time spent on government affairs, but he's also trying to get technology executives and lobbyists to join in the cause. AT&T claims that the deal will grant high-speed data access to a huge portion of the country's population, but Sprint rigorously tries to prove that AT&T could easily boost capacity within its existing network. 

The current goal for Hesse is to get 18 state regulators to look into the deal and he has even more aces up his sleeve, which he didn't disclose. The executive's main point is that the merger would hurt competition significantly. Just how much? Sprint's very existence as an independent company is threatened according to the CEO. But finally it's the industry that will take the biggest hit after all:

“The industry just won’t be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been,” Hesse mentioned. “It’ll gum up the works when everything has to go through these two big tollbooths, one that’s called AT&T and one that’s called Verizon.”

Hesse spent 23 years at AT&T and for three of them he ran the company's wireless operations, but he claims that the fight is not personal. It's sure to get some serious opposition though as if the deal breaks up AT&T will owe T-Mobile $6 billion. “That’s just not my concern at all, one way or the other,” Hesse said. “I’d feel like we did the right thing for the industry.”



1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Dont let him fool ya, if the Merger goes through, Sprint will pick up the bulk of the angry customers. Of course, it could hurt their exclusives though. Well, after the article posting about how ATT was bribing like 90% of democrats involved to say yes, he better have one heck of an ace up his sleeve.

23. lollipop

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

ATT bribes everyone from your beloved Conservatives to your hated Democrats.

27. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Uh huh, sure they do. It's not like the Democrats care about creating a monopoly or anything.

2. Geeksarebest unregistered

The article didn't say AT&T bribed Dem's. All it said was that AT&T contributed to the Democratic fund. Which it has for several years along with Verizon *and* Sprint. Verizon has the republicans pockets and AT&T has the Dem's. Even Sprint has contributed when the vote to allow wireless providers to be exempt from a couple of federal inquiries. No one is an angel in this game.

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Actually, Verizon is a left of center company run from NJ who donates to democrats more than republicans. And there was an article 2 days ago that said ATT added 50k+ to like 45 of 50 democrats on the FCC commission that said they will support the merger.

24. lollipop

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

Dude i worked for VzW... They were not a Left of center company. They had lobbyist for each side. You are a stupid moron.

3. MalakiMills

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 15, 2010

This sounds about right, the way I see it is At&t should just take that 39 billion dollars and put that directly into building their own network instead of just trying to diminish competition and take out T-mobile. It's kinda like what happened to Kmart after Walmart and Target got really big. Stores started closing and hardly anyone shops at them anymore. I foresee that happening to Sprint. They will keep their loyal customers, and float around in the endless sea that will be Verizon and At&t.

13. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

I think we forget that tom has been trying to sale for years now, which means they dont want there customers any more. If sprint had the money they would have bought them years ago.

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

And innovation will definitely slow waaay down. For starters, AT&T-Mobile will not have the $39 billion it spent on the merger that it could have invested in it's network absent the merger. Then, since VZW isn't feeling any pressure to match AT&T-Mobile, it scales back it's investment while at the same time, raises it's rates. And the customer gets to bend over.

25. Fernando the Goalie unregistered

100% Correct on all accounts. I fail to see how a company that buys a company that roams off their towers most of the time has anything to gain by this. Alot of places I go outside the Metro areas that I travel to, my T-Mobile phone roams off of AT&T towers. It's rediculous. They kicked my cousin off for roaming too much, even though he was within their "map". This deal stinks.

5. Erik unregistered

Considering all the buzz was about a possible Sprint & T-Mobile merger until the AT&T deal was announced, I will give this CEO no respect. AT&T came in with a bigger check and a better deal and Deutsche Telekom AG went for it. Hesse is simply a sore loser. He doesn't care about competition or any of the other altruistic crap he's been flinging around. If by some miracle this deal is shot down, you'll see Sprint all over T-Mobile like a hobo on a ham sandwich.

9. ibap

Posts: 873; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

Buzz is buzz. Don't believe everything you hear. Or read.

10. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Wouldn't you rather see THREE big carriers duking it out over your money? Sore loser, maybe, but I would much rather see Sprint take T-Mobile.

16. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

thats so true

6. Geeksarebest unregistered

@Doug This kind of stuff doesn't happen. No one raises their rates to combat competition. If the network really were as bad as it's made out to be (I personally have never had a problem with network since switching *from* Verizon.) then why is Verizon in competition mode now? AT&T's dissatisfied customers wont go to Verizon, They'll go to Sprint which will drive Verizon into a matching mode to try and absorb some of the overflow. The kickbacks usually go: Cust -> AT&T/Verizon due to cust service/coverage/iPhones Cust -> Sprint/T-Mobile due to price. No one ever really goes to T-Mobile or Sprint due to coverage since Sprint's coverage pretty much *is* Verizon partner coverage. T-Mobile lost the majority of it's partner coverage when it clashed w/AT&T over roaming rates.

11. ibap

Posts: 873; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

Actually, we switched from Verizon to Sprint because Sprint's phones work inside our high school, and our daughter is involved in so much after-school stuff that made a real difference. So do T-mobile and Alltel. Neither Verizon nor ATT work inside, nor very well even outside of the buildings. I waited and waited for Verizon to pull in the coverage from Alltel, but it didn't happen, so we switched. T-mobile only works along major highways and in major cities here (central Ohio) so wasn't a good option. Coverage is key. And those maps are misleading. T-mobile is a total zero at our home.

7. Smooth

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 24, 2011

Deutsche Telekom has been wanting to sell for a while anyway. AT&T just came with the type of offer they wanted to hear. I don't see why people are mad at AT&T

12. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Your looking at it from a business perspective. Try the consumers perspective, it may change your opinion.

14. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

wow customers wont lose any thing sprint once again is just stalling.

15. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

I actually like At&t, I don't know why its such a trend to hate on them. I'm excited for the merger to go through, I normal get 2mbps on my Focus, but im hoping that by the time they acquire Tmobile and add its network in. I will have alot faster speeds, and more coverage !!. Verizon bought altel, sprint bought Nextel, and now at&t bought tmobile!

18. Phoneguy007

Posts: 218; Member since: Jun 02, 2011

I agree!

17. Radji unregistered

My aunt is a lawyer and she says there's no way AT&T will be allowed to proceed based solely that it had already been found in violation of antitrust laws in the 80's, and was forced to split up.

19. Geeksarebest

Posts: 34; Member since: Jun 28, 2011

Radji, this isn't the 80's and it's not the same AT&T. Cingular is actually the parent company which has never been found guilty of Anti-Trust violations.

20. iHesse unregistered

If Hesse tried as hard to acquire T-Mobile as he is trying to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, he would have actually been able to get the deal with T-Mobile.

21. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

Sprint needs to grow, and I mean fast. Covering all of the nation will win more government funding than just trying to remain viable. I'm talking massively subsidized wireless connectivity here. Exclusives are small change to government checks.

22. SPcamert

Posts: 56; Member since: Feb 06, 2010

I'd be curious to see just what kind of improvements would be possible for Sprint if their CEO redirected his efforts from trying to stop other companies from expanding into actually expanding his own company/network. Not that I blame him. It would be a huge hit to Sprint if AT&T actually manages to complete the merger.

26. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

I would love to see TMO and Sprint join together. They're both the smaller companies and merging would make them the equal of AT&T and Verizon. Then we'd have 3 equally big companies all trying to out-do each other. I have AT&T now and I think this deal WILL kill off alot of competition. Cell phones have been around so long now that you should just be able to pull out your phone, use it, and know the call will go through without looking at how many bars you have. But you can't and this deal will slow that whole process of evolution.

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