Verizon Wireless has no intention of buying Sprint Nextel, says its chief executive, Daniel Mead. This in light of the fact that Mead’s company may soon drop down to the number two largest wireless company in the US, if AT&T’s recently announced plan to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion is approved by federal regulators.
During an interview with Reuters on Monday, Mead said that Verizon, currently the most profitable wireless carrier in the US, found no reason to purchase Sprint.
“We’re not interested in Sprint. We don’t need them,” Mead told Reuters just before the 2011 CTIA wireless industry conference in Orlando, Florida, which takes place this week.
Mead also indicated that Verizon would not oppose AT&T’s T-Mobile purchase, and added that he believes the deal will be approved by the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, if the companies agreed to the regulators’ conditions.
“Anything can go through if you make enough concessions,” Mead said.
The fate of Sprint has become one of the most significant question marks left hanging in the musty air after news of the AT&T/T-Mobile union went public on Sunday.
Sprint has come out firmly against the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, saying it would “result in a wireless industry dominated overwhelmingly by two vertically-integrated companies that control almost 80 percent of the US wireless post-paid market.”
Some believe Sprint could have difficulty competing against Verizon and the new AT&T/T-Mobile juggernaut if not purchased by a larger entity that could provide support to the dwarfed cellular carrier.
Another possible option is that Sprint, which was originally slated to purchase T-Mobile before presumably being out-bid by AT&T, could begin to buy up smaller, budget competitors like Metro PCS or Leap.
Regardless, it’s clear the AT&T/T-Mobile deal has sparked a feeding frenzy in the wireless industry. It remains vague, however, who’s predator and who’s prey.