T-Mobile and Sprint CEOs are skeptical of telcos getting into the content business
Earlier this week Verizon Communications announced its intention to acquire Yahoo’s internet-related businesses for $4.83 billion to grow its user base and content portfolio. Now that the long-rumored deal has been articulated, the CEOs of rival carriers Sprint and T-Mobile US are sharing their thoughts.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere, in an interview with USA Today, said he doesn’t think the deal “impacts us. It becomes clear that they see customers as units of advertising revenue. They’re going into that game against the most powerful companies, Facebook and Google. I think it’s going to be a slippery slope for them.”
Mike Sievert, T-Mo’s COO, said, “Surely it will distract [Verizon] from their core business,” according to USA Today.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, speaking following the company’s most recent earnings call, said telecom companies have tried to get into the content business before. “History has proven that every single one of them failed,” he said. “We like when we see our [competitors] take their eye off their core business.”
Sprint and T-Mobile US’ approach to content, particularly streaming video, is more focused on providing customers the data they need to consume the content they want.
For Sprint, that’s unlimited data plans. For T-Mobile US, it’s the carrier’s zero-rated BingeOn service, which allows users to stream from select platforms without the data usage counting toward their plan allotment.