He’s Santa Claus with a twist.
T-Mobile’s often foul-mouthed chief executive on Thursday mirthfully unveiled a bag of goodies he wants to hand out, including $15-a-month cell service, on the condition that the cellular company’s $26 billion deal with Sprint can proceed.
John Legere declined to say, however, whether he might seek to reduce the cost of T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion merger for Sprint after their tie-up agreement expired last week.
“What I can say is, yes, we are having conversations as partners about whether and how long we move forward the date,” Legere said. “It’s not a hostile conversation. It’s an active one.”
In a webcast with reporters Thursday, John Legere and T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert said they intend to start selling 2 gigabytes of high-speed data for $15 a month — half the current cost of their lowest plan — if they are permitted to merge with Sprint.
They will also provide free 5G service to first responders for 10 years and give away free internet service to millions of low-income and rural households with children if the merger goes through.
T-Mobile’s proposed takeover of Sprint, the No. 4 provider, has been approved by the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, but has been delayed by an antitrust suit brought by a coalition of state attorneys general, including New York’s Letitia James.
The AGs sued to block the deal in June on concerns that a marriage of the third- and fourth-largest US wireless carriers would mean higher prices for some of the poorest consumers.
A trial is set for Dec. 9.
T-Mobile also announced Thursday that it will launch a 5G network that covers 200 million people on Dec. 6, three days before the trial is set to begin.
Sprint and T-Mobile have been campaigning to AGs at the state level and have already succeeded in getting Colorado and Mississippi to drop out of the coalition. Legere on Thursday said he’s informed the remaining AGs about the latest initiatives.
“What’s important to these states is exactly the things we’re talking about,” Legere said. Since agreeing to merge in 2018, T-Mobile has continued to add subscribers while Sprint has continued to lose customers
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