Even as speculation mounts about a possible marriage of Sprint and T-Mobile, the two chief executives continue to maintain a friendly public rivalry.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere took a playful poke at Sprint for dropping the price on its prepaid Boost Mobile plans, tweeting:
Sprint President and Chief Executive Daniel Hesse, in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” hosts Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle, took the jab in stride, noting that he regards Legere, who used to work for him, as a peer.
“I don’t think John’s ever going to stop egging me on,” Hesse said.
Hesse used part of the TV interview to talk about the consumer benefits of creating a stronger rival to compete with the industry’s dominant players, Verizon and AT&T.
“The issue you have in the U.S. wireless industry is it is a duopoly, where you have 84 percent of the [pre-tax earnings] and 100 percent of the free cash flow out of two large companies,” Hesse said. “So, I think the industry would be healthier and you’d have a stronger No. 3.”
Hesse acknowledged any potential merger would face an uphill battle in winning regulatory approval.
“There are a lot of regulators who are skeptical,” Hesse said. “Theoretically, if some transaction were to occur, we would have a lot of convincing to do in Washington.”
Here’s the interview: