Ina Fried

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Sprint’s Hesse Doesn’t Think He’s Alone Opposing ATT-T-Mobile, but Not Sure Who’s With Him Either

Dan Hesse has been the most vocal opponent of AT&T’s plan to buy T-Mobile USA, but Sprint’s CEO doesn’t think he is the only one concerned abut the deal.

Lots of folks stand to be hurt by the deal, Hesse said, from network suppliers to handset makers and from app developers to those that write operating systems. “The entire ecosystem (is threatened),” Hesse said, speaking to Mobilized and other reporters on Friday, following his speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

That said, Hesse said he is not sure who will join him in speaking out against the $39 billion transaction.

“There’s clearly a risk that a lot of these companies see in coming forward to oppose a deal that is so favored by a very, very large company.”

Hesse just might have a point there. I mean, what would argue that a deal is anticompetitive better than the fact that those most affected are afraid to speak out against it?

The challenge, though, is that silence alone won’t block the deal.

One of the interesting question in the weeks ahead is who, if anyone, will come out publicly against the deal.

Hesse said he is confident that he won’t be standing totally alone.

“I think there will be a number of companies that will oppose it, but clearly there will be companies that will be concerned about opposing it because of the ramifications for their business,” Hesse said.

As for the deal’s prospects of going through, Hesse said it is too soon to say, but he said he is encouraged by the fact that so many parties are taking an interest. In addition to the FCC and Department of Justice (both of whom must approve the deal), Congress has said it will hold hearings, while the New York Attorney General has also pledged a thorough review.

And not that this is a shocker, but Hesse has said he plans to testify against the deal. I’m more curious who will be in the chair next to him. Also interesting to see will be which–if any–of those that Hesse listed as potentially threatened by the deal, AT&T might convince to argue in favor of it.

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