AT&T Inc's planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA was slammed on Friday by Sprint Nextel Corp CEO Dan Hesse who said a tie-up between the two would hit innovation and set the country's wireless industry back.
"If AT&T is allowed to swallow T-Mobile, competition will be stifled, growth will be stifled and wireless innovation will be jeopardized," Hesse told reporters and industry executives in downtown San Francisco yesterday.
Meanwhile, James Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president, external and legislative affairs, pointed out that in recent months Sprint executives had described the wireless industry as very competitive.
"It is self-serving for them to argue that the highly competitive wireless market they cited only months ago is now threatened by the very type of transaction they seemed prepared to defend previously," Cicconi said in a statement.
The deal was announced in March. Under the deal 80 per cent of US wireless contract customers would be shared between two companies -- AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc.
The No2 US mobile carrier AT&T which is often criticised for slow connections speeds and dropped calls has claimed the merger would spur innovation as also economic growth through quality improvements.