T-Mobile CEO Has 88 Million Reasons To Fight For Sprint Deal

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T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere has up to 88 million reasons to fight for the company's proposed merger with Sprint that's now facing uncertainty following the last several months of political developments in the United States.

On the very same day T-Mobile announced it came to a preliminary agreement with Sprint regarding a merger a year ago, the company granted a new bonus to Mr. Legere that's largely dependent not only on the consolidation attempt going through but also on him staying at its helm until it's completed. The industry veteran received a vested package containing some 600,000 stock, assuming the stock return T-Mobile records over the next several years is better than the one managed by at least half of the wireless industry.

That achievement would see Mr. Legere receive approximately $44 million worth of shares, with that figure being set to double if he manages to push the firm toward hitting even better targets. Given that personal stake, it's no surprise T-Mobile's head made the Sprint merger his number-one priority over the last year.

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The number of occasions whereon Mr. Legere visited Washington since April of 2018 is in the double digits as the 60-year-old basically turned the goal of lobbying American regulators his personal mission. While those efforts initially proved fruitful, they might have been for nothing given how the results of the latest mid-terms, the Mueller report, and many other developments in the country saw the DNC regain some control of the government, making it unlikely their political rivals will be willing to risk even more power by pulling any high-profile anti-consumer moves.

Regardless of what Mr. Legere and his executives are claiming, a big-business consolidation is never good news for consumers in the long term, especially in the context of industries that are already lacking competition as it is, which is certainly the case for the stateside wireless segment.

As Republicans now fear additional political embarrassments, their willingness to support T-Mobile and Sprint's proposed merger appears to be waning. That's in spite of the extreme lengths the two network operators went to in order to gain regulatory approval for their tie-up. Aggressive lobbying aside, T-Mobile was previously accused of trying to win favor with President Trump's administration by spending sizeable sums at his hotels while traveling for work.

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Besides detailing Mr. Legere's latest stock rewards, new regulatory filings also reveal that package came bundled with $8 million in annual salary and bonuses, as well as an extra equity reward amounting to roughly $14.4 million. At least three other T-Mobile officials received similarly structured vested stock, albeit their rewards were understandably not as massive as that given to Mr. Legere.

As things stand right now, not even the hail-Mary promises of better rural broadband, near-impossible 5G targets, lower prices for consumers, and other such pledges will help T-Mobile wrap up the Sprint consolidation that it originally said was meant to be completed in the first half of the year.

In other words, Mr. Legere has over a month to attempt securing that fat bonus and cement his place in the wireless industry's history, not that his achievements in the last half a decade at the firm's helm are anything to scoff at.

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