Sprint came very close to acquiring MetroPCS back in February, but according to CEO Dan Hesse, the provider doesn't plan on pursuing similar deals anytime soon. Hesse made the statement during a call with analysts on Wednesday, explaining that "it's not an ideal time" to actively pursue a merger, since the company is already investing heavily in its ongoing network upgrade.
The exec was quick to point out that merger opportunities aren't a "black and white" issue, and that Sprint's involvement in any potential deal would largely depend upon the proposition at hand, the "synergies" it would offer, as well as market climates. Under Hesse's ideal scenario, however, the carrier would continue focusing on its LTE rollout for the next year-and-a-half, before considering "consolidation in 2014 when we have this behind us." Given Sprint's current financial situation, the company seems content to do just that. "Clearly, the time is not ideal based upon where our shares are currently trading," Hesse stressed.
The CEO also took the opportunity to give his take on today's regulatory climate, stating his belief that US regulators would be open to more consolidation in the wireless industry, despite AT&T's failed takeover of T-Mobile last year. Arguing that there's no "magic number" of wireless carriers, Hesse went on to claim that "Washington would be receptive to consolidation to provide more balance" against the industry's "big two" — AT&T and Verizon. "I honestly believe that both the DOJ and FCC have an open mind with respect to additional consolidation and want to see a competitive wireless industry," Hesse said.