Sprint says AT&T made the 'right decision'

After vocally opposing the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile merger for the past nine months, Sprint reacts positively to the news that AT&T is abandoning its acquisition bid.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse never hid his distaste for AT&T's T-Mobile bid.
Kent German/CNET

Christmas came early for Sprint today when AT&T announced that it was abandoning its controversial $39 billion bid to acquire T-Mobile.

In a statement released moments ago, Vonya B. McCann, Sprint's senior vice president of Government Affairs, said AT&T made the "right decision for consumers, competition and innovation in the wireless industry."

"From the beginning, Sprint has stood with consumers who spoke loudly and clearly that AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile would create an undeniable duopoly that would have resulted in higher prices, less innovation and fewer choices for the American consumer," McCann wrote. "We look forward to competing fiercely in the robust, competitive market that exists today."

After AT&T first announced its intentions last March, Sprint quickly emerged as one of the strongest critics of the deal. When CEO Dan Hesse wasn't trashing the merger in public appearances, the carrier was working furiously behind the scenes to stop it.

Sprint's first formal move against the deal came in late May when McCann asked the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to block the marriage on the grounds that it would harm competition and consumers, negatively impact America's economic growth, and stifle innovation. Then, on September 6, Sprint filed a lawsuit before a federal judge.

Though C Spire--formally Cellular South--later joined the suit, spokesman Dave Miller told CNET today that the carrier had no further comment at this time. A spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, which had not publicly taken sides in the fight also declined to comment as did representatives for MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular, and Cricket Wireless.