If the potential of a T-Mobile/Sprint merger concerns you, it may be time to start turning the corner. Whether a deal actually happens remains to be seen, but both parties seem open to it. At CES, T-Mobile CEO John Legere commented that the T-Mobile way is here to stay, regardless of any merger. Now, he’s soft-selling it to us by touting the benefits of such a deal.
Legere recently made comments on Bloomberg West that seemed to signal his consolidation that the merger was likely. Rather than discuss the possibility, he was boasting of the benefits any deal between his company and Sprint wold bring to consumers. Rather than discuss customer service or plan benefits, he spoke of the one thing carriers covert more than any other: spectrum.
“If the government wants us to have a competitive environment, you are going to make sure that the duopoly doesn’t use their prowess to crush the little guys and have this sub-1 GHz spectrum be moved all to them” Legere said. He went on to add “We either need more spectrum and capability, a lot more investment, or we need consolidation”. That sounds a lot like a CEO relegating himself to leading a new charge, or at least understanding his company’s place int he big water they find themselves in.
Legere didn’t come right out and say a merger was likely, though. He said there were “multiple versions of consolidation in the industry that are possible ways for us to grow.” He went on to add “from a standpoint of companies consolidating to get better scale, I’m open to looking at options”, but he may not have the choice. Reports put T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom and Sprint’s Softbank in direct talks about a buyout/merger. The FCC, however, has the last word — and they don’t look favorably on three big carriers.