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Sprint quits T-Mobile US bid; CEO Hesse to be replaced - reports


Sprint
Richard Handford

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Sprint has given up its quest to acquire T-Mobile US, according to various media reports which also say CEO Dan Hesse will step down from Sprint in favour of Marcelo Claure, the CEO of phone distributor Brightstar.

Staunch regulatory opposition to the proposed Sprint/T-Mobile US combination appears to have finally convinced the two companies to drop their merger plans, at least for the moment, according to unnamed sources at Sprint.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has argued vociferously in favour of a new entity combining the third- and fourth-largest US operators.

He claimed Sprint/T-Mobile US would provide a counterweight to the market power of AT&T and Verizon Wireless but failed to convince regulatory authorities in the US.

Meanwhile Dan Hesse is set to leave his position at the struggling operator, according to sources.

The veteran is expected to be replaced by Brightstar’s Marcelo Claure. Sprint acquired a controlling stake in the phone distributor in 2013 while Claure holds the remaining equity. He is already a board member at Sprint.

The operator is implementing network improvements but at the expense of the customer experience. It lost 220,000 users in the most recent quarter.

Sprint quitting the field gives impetus to a rival bid for T-Mobile US from French operator Iliad, which entered the field at the end of last week. In an effort to beef up its credentials, Iliad is in talks about joining forces on its bid with US satellite and cable operators including Dish Networks, Cox Communications and Charter Communications.

However T-Mobile US has rejected a request by Iliad for access to its books after concluding that its bid is not strong enough to succeed, said The Wall Street Journal.

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