Dan Hesse once led AT&T Wireless. Now, as CEO of Sprint, he’s trying to block his former employer from buying T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. Bloomberg News has an interesting interview with Hesse about why he thinks the deal will be bad for consumers and the wireless industry in general.
“The industry just won’t be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been,” Hesse tells Bloomberg. “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.”
Interestingly, Hesse — who has increased Sprint’s lobbying efforts in an effort to torpedo the T-Mobile deal — said that he’s courting top technology CEOs and state regulators to champion his cause.
The former CEO of Redmond-based Terabeam Networks didn’t say who is lining up behind him, but some very high-profile technology companies have already chosen the other side. Earlier this month, Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, Microsoft and others came out in support of the AT&T-T-Mobile tie-up.
“The FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it,” the companies wrote in a letter to the FCC. “Such action will help to meet the near term wireless broadband needs of consumers and ensure that we are globally competitive as the world increasingly embraces wireless broadband connectivity.”
Bloomberg notes that Sprint, a major shareholder in Kirkland-based Clearwire, faces a tough slog since it hasn’t posted a profit since the third quarter of 2007 and has lost contract customers in 14 of the 15 last quarters.