T-Mobile Goes After Sprint After Merger Falls Through
Sprint, the nation's third-largest wireless carrier, recently withdrew its intentions to acquire T-Mobile, and while No. 3 has been relatively quiet in the aftermath, T-Mobile has been firing off at its former potential partner.
Most of the barbed comments come from T-Mobile's eccentric CEO and president John Legere, a man known for trying to crash an AT&T party in Las Vegas and being escorted out.
"The good news just keeps on coming for T-Mobile," said Legere in a T-Mobile press release about surpassing Sprint as No. 1 in prepaid wireless.
"As a matter of fact, I'm going on record -- I predict we'll overtake Sprint in total customers by the end of this year. Not someday. Not next year. This year. Americans are voting with their feet, and they're joining this Un-carrier revolution by the millions."
Legere has also taken to his Twitter where he has been constantly trying to win customers from Sprint.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) August 11, 2014
Sprint boasts around 55 million total subscribers compared to T-Mobile's 50 million, but the company faces an uphill battle. It has been losing customers and does not have the deep pockets to compete with the juggernauts that are Verizon and AT&T. Although T-Mobile doesn't exactly have an easy road either, the company has been gaining momentum by challenging the wireless industry's conventions such as contracts and a lengthy upgrade process.
In light of the current market situation, Sprint and its parent company Japan-based SoftBank Corp. hoped to combine forces with T-Mobile. Only then, Sprint chairman and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said, can there be a competitive third carrier in the market.
"I brought the network war and price war [to Japan]. I'd like to bring that to the States," Sprint chairman and SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son said to industry officials in March. "I would like to provide an alternative to the oligopolistic situation that two-thirds of American households can only get access to one or two providers. I'd like to be a third alternative with 10 times the speed and lower price."
The deal faced regulatory hurdles, however, that it was eventually not able to overcome. Both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice expressed concern about market consolidation.
"Four national wireless providers are good for American consumers," FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement last week. "Sprint now has an opportunity to focus their efforts on robust competition."
French telecommunications company Iliad has also stopped into the picture by recently making a $15 billion bid for T-Mobile.
Sprint and T-Mobile were also reportedly in talks to form a $10 billion coalition for next year's FCC spectrum auction in case the $32 billion merger didn't go through. The FCC, however, banned such a team shortly before Sprint announced it would stop pursuing T-Mobile, leaving both companies with smaller funds against Verizon and AT&T.
Sprint's new CEO Marcelo Claure began his responsibilities Monday with many executives confident in his abilities to help turn the company around.
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