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Sprint CEO planning 'nukes' to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger

post #1 of 74
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Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in an interview that he plans to launch "nukes" in his fight to stop AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Hesse offered Bloomberg's Greg Bensinger a rare glimpse into the "White Room" where he plans his offensive against AT&T, using the room's nearly wall-to-wall whiteboards to "map out "nukes" in red, blue and green ink."

In addition to Sprint's resources, the CEO has invested his own personal resources in stopping AT&T. His strategy has included lobbying Congress, courting technology CEOs to speak out against the deal and convincing state regulators to examine the acquisition. And, according to the interview, Hesse has "other tactics" up his sleeve.

AT&T announced in March that it had reached an agreement to purchase T-Mobile USA from parent company Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. The deal has quickly come under federal scrutiny, with the U.S. Senate, Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission all getting involved.

In May, Sprint filed a formal petition with the FCC objecting to the merger. AT&T responded by claiming the deal would have no effect on the competitive landscape.

For Hesse, the deal represents a life-or-death situation for Sprint. During a Senate hearing last month, senators asked him what Sprint's likelihood of survival would be if the proposed merger took place. "My position is that it would more difficult for Sprint to compete," he replied. "This would be a duopoly, and it would put Sprint to be acquired."

Hesse believes he's fighting not just for Sprint's survival but for the good of the industry and American consumers. The industry just wont be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been, he said during the interview. Itll gum up the works when everything has to go through these two big tollbooths, one thats called AT&T and one thats called Verizon.

However, AT&T maintains that the merger would help the wireless operator to operating more efficiently, cut costs, and thereby benefit customers. Their arguments about prices going up just defy economic logic, said AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts. Weve had wireless transactions multiple times over the last ten years and prices have gone one direction: theyve gone down.

According to the report, the executive has enlisted "lobbyists, consulting groups, two former U.S. House Judiciary Committee counsels and lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP." Regardless, he may find himself outgunned, as AT&T outspent Sprint in Washington by more than 12-to-1. In 2009 and 2010, AT&T contributed $3.26 million to federal candidates, while Sprint donated just $257,500.

Interestingly enough, Hesse spent 23 years at AT&T, and ran the company's wireless business for three years before leaving in 2000. He insists, however, that his campaign against the deal isn't personal.

Analysts have voiced concerns over Sprint's long-term post-merger chances. If the deal goes through, Sprint remains the No. 3 player in the industry; their ability to ever become an AT&T is shut off forever, said Credit Suisse AG analyst Jonathan Chaplin, who expects the merger will be approved.

However, Hesse remains optimistic. An underdog is not thinking about the point spread; theyre thinking about winning the game, he said. We can win this.
post #2 of 74
crap... ww3
post #3 of 74
Give a knockout punch to Randall Stevenson.
post #4 of 74
In many fields... airlines, banking, cable TV, cell phones... the govt has basically abdicated its anti-monopoly role. The laws are there, they just never get enforced anymore. If I worked for DOJ I could prove a bunch of different ways that an ATT/Tmobile merger is illegal.
post #5 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

In many fields... airlines, banking, cable TV, cell phones... the govt has basically abdicated its anti-monopoly role. The laws are there, they just never get enforced anymore. If I worked for DOJ I could prove a bunch of different ways that an ATT/Tmobile merger is illegal.

Really? What makes it illegal? It wouldn't form a monopoly, not with VZW still out there... Unless you think that being the only carrier supporting CDMA constitutes a monopoly, although that would be like saying that nintendo has a monopoly because they make the only system that supports Wii games. Or that Republicans have a monopoly because the Democrats can't string together logical thoughts... Or daring fireball has a monopoly because Gruber only writes for them... Or, you get the point.

If you have Tmo, and don't like AT&T, you will still have choices, off the top of my head there's:
1. Verizon
2. Sprint
3. Cricket
4. US Cellular
5. Metro PCS
you might not like any of those choices, but you do have them.

Sincerely,
Dim
post #6 of 74
Let AT&T merge with T Mobile. Let the consumers decide the fate of AT&T and Sprint. Frankly, AT&T's service area stinks and Sprint's customer service stinks.
post #7 of 74
What a little girl!!!
He says that the merger would harm Sprint. Screw Sprint. All them greedy mofos are about to robbed the consumer with this ridiculous thing called DOWNLOAD CAPS.Some have already started.
Personally I'm getting sick and tired of this whole cell wars ting. iSO, android, windows mobile etc. I'm through with this sh***!
post #8 of 74
The industry just won’t be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been

Considering its far from the most dynamic or innovative telco market in the world there is lots of room for improvement from that position. That improvement comes about from an intensive process of the companies working to win and service new and existing customers.
post #9 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

In many fields... airlines, banking, cable TV, cell phones... the govt has basically abdicated its anti-monopoly role. The laws are there, they just never get enforced anymore. If I worked for DOJ I could prove a bunch of different ways that an ATT/Tmobile merger is illegal.

I'll say it until I'm blue in the face... The US wireless customers got raped the moment exclusive access was granted to specific spectrum.

The solution that seems to be better around the world is to auction the global standard frequencies to a few carriers, and as a bonus make carrier-locking phones illegal.

AT&T getting the 2G and 3G GSM standard frequencies has given them a lot of advantages due to availability of handsets, common global network infrastructure, etc... iPhone notwithstanding.

Sprint's 4G commitment to WiMax is a big boo boo unfortunately, since LTE will be the primary 4G choice for phone manufacturers, and again LTE carriers will benefit from economies of scale with most of the world going with LTE. How many WiMax smartphones are out there? And as another poster pointed out, Sprint has hinted or more or less conceded WiMax was the wrong play.

In any case Sprint is just waiting to be acquired. Conspiracy theorists would say Hesse is doing all he can to get a sweet deal for himself when the buyout happens. Or I could be wrong, maybe this Hesse guy is a loyal and upstanding believer in Sprint, competition, what's best for customers, and the American way.
post #10 of 74
Anyone else find Dan Hesse's arguments rather odd? Normally, CEOs are ecstatic over the number of significant competitors shrinking from three to two. So why isn't Hesse ecstatic? Maybe he's afraid AT&T will do the one thing he claims they won't -- offer a better overall product to consumers via improved quality or lower prices. If AT&T does what he says they will do, give consumers a worse product, that would only incentivize consumers to more readily choose Sprint.

Let's remember, Hesse's duty is to look out for Sprint shareholders first and his employees second. If he's responding based on that duty then it tells me he's afraid a bigger AT&T will become a better choice for consumers.
post #11 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Anyone else find Dan Hesse's arguments rather odd? Normally, CEOs are ecstatic over the number of significant competitors shrinking from three to two. So why isn't Hesse ecstatic? Maybe he's afraid AT&T will do the one thing he claims they won't -- offer a better overall product to consumers via improved quality or lower prices. If AT&T does what he says they will do, give consumers a worse product, that would only incentivize consumers to more readily choose Sprint.

Let's remember, Hesse's duty is to look out for Sprint shareholders first and his employees second. If he's responding based on that duty then it tells me he's afraid a bigger AT&T will become a better choice for consumers.

Or they(sprizon) can use their market POWER (think darth fader voice) to manipulate. Market POWER is good for consumers until the competition is forced to leave. IMO, duopoly, monopoly, not a large difference except the definition in law.
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post #12 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

In many fields... airlines, banking, cable TV, cell phones... the govt has basically abdicated its anti-monopoly role. The laws are there, they just never get enforced anymore. If I worked for DOJ I could prove a bunch of different ways that an ATT/Tmobile merger is illegal.

Run for the HIlls - Ma Bell is back. Say no to this merger from Hell.
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post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post

Really? What makes it illegal? It wouldn't form a monopoly, not with VZW still out there...

You certainly live up to your username.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

What a little girl!!!
He says that the merger would harm Sprint. Screw Sprint. All them greedy mofos are about to robbed the consumer with this ridiculous thing called DOWNLOAD CAPS.Some have already started.
Personally I'm getting sick and tired of this whole cell wars ting. iSO, android, windows mobile etc. I'm through with this sh***!

Uh, Sprint's the only one without any download caps on its plans. Every single other company has them. Maybe before you explode, you should be intelligent enough to have a reason to do so.

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post #14 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbtinc View Post

Run for the HIlls - Ma Bell is back.

Frankly, the US had the world's best -- and most reasonably priced -- phone service that was the envy of the world, and funded the world's greatest research in the private sector (Bell Labs) when Ma Bell was Ma Bell.

I long for the days.
post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Uh, Sprint's the only one without any download caps on its plans. Every single other company has them. Maybe before you explode, you should be intelligent enough to have a reason to do so.

I believe what he was trying to describe(and failed in doing), was the UPLOAD not download caps, that Sprint had previously injected into it's Wimax phones at 1.5/mb's a sec I believe.

Not sure if sprint still has them on or not.
post #16 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

I believe what he was trying to describe(and failed in doing), was the UPLOAD not download caps, that Sprint had previously injected into it's Wimax phones at 1.5/mb's a sec I believe.

Well.

THAT'S interesting, though. Capped upload speeds...

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post #17 of 74
So basically Dan is going to spend uber $$ on lawsuits/lawyers/suits and "nukes" instead of new technology/upgrades. Yeah, THAT'S the way to win 'em over Dannyboy. Bankrupt Sprint...... :-/ GO FOR IT.
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post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Well.

THAT'S interesting, though. Capped upload speeds...

Like I said, IDK if it's still in effect via increase, or not in effect at all.

I guess it won't matter much since Sprint is going trough divorce court with clearwire anywho.
post #19 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Uh, Sprint's the only one without any download caps on its plans. Every single other company has them. Maybe before you explode, you should be intelligent enough to have a reason to do so.

This isn't the place for personal insults. Stop that.

That said, I know AT&T doesn't have download caps, and I don't think the others do either. At AT&T you pay for the data you use, but you can use as much as you want without limit.
post #20 of 74
The Sprint CEO should be more worried about their poor performance than what his competitors are doing. If he has done his job then his product would be better (better product at a better price) and if that has been accomplished, then he needs to make sure that the market knows.

Sprint has been a complete failure in the mobile industry from the standpoint of gaining any traction and getting new customers. Frankly, that lays squarely at the feet of the CEO.

If I owned stock in Sprint I would be worried for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the CEO seems to be completely distracted by what his competition is doing. That company needs to look inward and figure out how be successful instead of worrying about changes in their competition.
post #21 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by benice View Post

The industry just wont be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been

Considering its far from the most dynamic or innovative telco market in the world there is lots of room for improvement from that position. That improvement comes about from an intensive process of the companies working to win and service new and existing customers.

I am curious what you would be comparing this to? There has not been significant innovation by the carriers for over a decade or more. All improvements are/have been incremental, not innovations. Your idea of improvement has faltered badly and doesn't reflect the reality of the carrier market for cellular services. There is no intensive process of these companies working to win and service new and existing customers. As the carriers struggle to fight commoditization of their wireless pipes, the era of service innovation has passed them by. They had the opportunity to become bona fide service providers, but squandered that in the race to consolidate and gobble up regionals. They have relied on the handset makers to develop hardware that would entice users to bounce from their current competitor to their service set.
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post #22 of 74
Prices have gone down? When did that happen? An iPhone plan is almost $100 a month. My truck payment is $225 a month.
post #23 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

That said, I know AT&T doesn't have download caps

2GB a month doesn't sound like a cap to you?

Quote:
At AT&T you pay for the data you use, but you can use as much as you want without limit.

Oh, well, then absolutely no one on the planet has a download cap. Not even Comcast, where you pay the same for 250 GB a month as you do on anyone else to get infinity GB a month.

Yeah, that's not a download cap.

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post #24 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Prices have gone down? When did that happen? An iPhone plan is almost $100 a month. My truck payment is $225 a month.

When ATT refers to prices falling they mean voice. Actually making calls on your cellphone has gotten much cheaper than it used to be.

Then bring in the loophole of data, who's prices are going nothing but up if your intent on taking advantage of the many internet enabled services out today.
post #25 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

2GB a month doesn't sound like a cap to you?



Oh, well, then absolutely no one on the planet has a download cap. Not even Comcast, where you pay the same for 250 GB a month as you do on anyone else to get infinity GB a month.

Yeah, that's not a download cap.

My friend you seem to be confusing Download caps with data caps. DATA caps are the 2GB in placement, unless download caps=data caps now? Or I'm missing the abstract reference.(forgive me if that is the case)

ATT has had download caps, although I'm not even sure if those are still there. This happened when ATT was advertising the Atrix and was promising buyers speeds of something like 5 mbps down minimum or something. Then users found out that no matter where they went they only got like 300 kbps. The Rooting community had to start taking away Atrixes from ATT via Rooting because ATT was so slow in rolling out the updates.
post #26 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post

Really? What makes it illegal? It wouldn't form a monopoly, not with VZW still out there... Unless you think that being the only carrier supporting CDMA constitutes a monopoly, although that would be like saying that nintendo has a monopoly because they make the only system that supports Wii games. Or that Republicans have a monopoly because the Democrats can't string together logical thoughts... Or daring fireball has a monopoly because Gruber only writes for them... Or, you get the point.

If you have Tmo, and don't like AT&T, you will still have choices, off the top of my head there's:
1. Verizon
2. Sprint
3. Cricket
4. US Cellular
5. Metro PCS
you might not like any of those choices, but you do have them.

Sincerely,
Dim

Metro is not available in much of the Midwest, nor is US Cell (cant get it in Indiana except in the Chicago area like Gary) and Cricket IIRC just resells sprint bandwidth and is so cheap bc u can only use the primary network and not roam...ti is also per their website, not availible in Indiana except near Chicago...

We have no choices here other than ATT, Tmobile, VZW and Sprint...and VZW and ATT clearly collude on pricing.

The fear isnt monopoly, the fear is duaopoly...and your examples are not great either - some blogger only writes for one site, who cares - you go to other sites if you dont like him and you can get the same info...and hell, you dont even need to read tech opinion sites but everyone needs a phone in modern society and we learned 40 years ago why one company controlling it is bad bad bad. 2 in this case is just as bad because we don't care about collusion in this country cause the FCC, SEC and FTC are weak because the companies own the senate, house and president.
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post #27 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

My friend you seem to be confusing Download caps with data caps.

You're confusing download caps with speed caps.

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post #28 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You're confusing download caps with speed caps.

Indeed, My bad then.
post #29 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jexus View Post

When ATT refers to prices falling they mean voice. Actually making calls on your cellphone has gotten much cheaper than it used to be.
.

hmm, I got my first cell in 2004 and paid like $30 for 500 minutes, I now pay $39 for the 450 minutes on ATT as part of my plan on my iphone 4 so while one case is anecdotal, it seems to me that you may not be correct.
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post #30 of 74
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post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

Metro is not available in much of the Midwest, nor is US Cell (cant get it in Indiana except in the Chicago area like Gary) and Cricket IIRC just resells sprint bandwidth and is so cheap bc u can only use the primary network and not roam...ti is also per their website, not availible in Indiana except near Chicago...

We have no choices here other than ATT, Tmobile, VZW and Sprint...and VZW and ATT clearly collude on pricing.

The fear isnt monopoly, the fear is duaopoly...and your examples are not great either - some blogger only writes for one site, who cares - you go to other sites if you dont like him and you can get the same info...and hell, you dont even need to read tech opinion sites but everyone needs a phone in modern society and we learned 40 years ago why one company controlling it is bad bad bad. 2 in this case is just as bad because we don't care about collusion in this country cause the FCC, SEC and FTC are weak because the companies own the senate, house and president.

So who are you using and how did you select them?
post #32 of 74
A cap means you're cut off when you reach it. None of the carriers have caps. They do charge in tiered amounts, which is not a cap.

Just because a restaurant charges for individual items doesn't mean the amount you can eat is limited or capped. You simply pay for what you order. The data plans are the same.
post #33 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Frankly, the US had the world's best -- and most reasonably priced -- phone service that was the envy of the world.

Sorry, but that middle part is nonsense. US phone service under Ma Bell was reasonably priced only compared to the wildly inefficient government phone utilities then prevalent in the rest of the industrialized world. In the absolute it was ridiculously expensive. Hell, you weren't even allowed to use your own phone handsets.

Service was certainly good, but so it should have been for the money.
post #34 of 74
Sour grapes by Hesse. Sprint had also explored buying TM, but they don't have the money to do it and their respective cellular systems (CDMA vs. GSM) are incompatible.
post #35 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

US phone service under Ma Bell was reasonably priced only compared to the wildly inefficient government phone utilities then prevalent in the rest of the industrialized world

Care to name one major utility that was then not government-owned?

If you can't, what's factually incorrect about the 'middle part' of my sentence? If it's not factually incorrect, what's nonsensical about my claim? Perhaps your retort is what is nonsensical?

A related point: US phone services are more expensive than those in many other parts of the world today.
post #36 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

Anyone else find Dan Hesse's arguments rather odd? Normally, CEOs are ecstatic over the number of significant competitors shrinking from three to two.

He wanted to buy the towers and customers for Sprint. He's bitter that they failed.
post #37 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Care to name one major utility that was then not government-owned?

If you can't, what's factually incorrect about the 'middle part' of my sentence? If it's not factually incorrect, what's nonsensical about my claim? Perhaps your retort is what is nonsensical?

A related point: US phone services are more expensive than those in many other parts of the world today.

What's factually incorrect? Why not you provide some facts to support your assertion that MaBell had the most reasonably priced phone system in the world?

Regardless, I don't think there's anyone out there claiming that land-line service costs more today (inflation adjusted) than it did 30 years ago.
post #38 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

I am curious what you would be comparing this to? There has not been significant innovation by the carriers for over a decade or more. All improvements are/have been incremental, not innovations. Your idea of improvement has faltered badly and doesn't reflect the reality of the carrier market for cellular services. There is no intensive process of these companies working to win and service new and existing customers. As the carriers struggle to fight commoditization of their wireless pipes, the era of service innovation has passed them by. They had the opportunity to become bona fide service providers, but squandered that in the race to consolidate and gobble up regionals. They have relied on the handset makers to develop hardware that would entice users to bounce from their current competitor to their service set.

It is Sprint that made the claim that the telco market in the the US is innovative. It is not.

In competitive markets there is an obvious and intensive process of working to win customers that goes beyond consolidation.
post #39 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

What's factually incorrect? Why not you provide some facts to support your assertion that MaBell had the most reasonably priced phone system in the world?

Regardless, I don't think there's anyone out there claiming that land-line service costs more today (inflation adjusted) than it did 30 years ago.

What are you trying to say here? You're not making any sense.....
post #40 of 74
[QUOTE=Dimwit;1890594]Or that Republicans have a monopoly because the Democrats can't string together logical thoughts... .

Huh? Democrats can't string together logical thoughts? Where on earth did that come from? The Republicans tell us that the best way to balance the budget is to give $2 trillion of tax breaks to corporations and millionaires. And that's logical? Or how about their positively delusional denial of climate science? It appears that the author of the above referenced quote may be named "Dim" for a reason....
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