T-Mobile's Legere Taunts Former Suitor Sprint Via Twitter Posts

NEWS ANALYSIS: T-Mobile CEO John Legere users his Twitter feed to direct a steady stream of taunts toward its competitor and former suitor Sprint as well as its new CEO Marcelo Claure.

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You know the honeymoon is over in any relationship when the taunts begin. You know it's really over when those taunts are made public on Twitter.

If there was ever any question whether T-Mobile's brash CEO John Legere was getting over Sprint, that ended when he Tweeted, "If you needed just one more reason to leave Sprint and join T Mobile….Now you might just have it….total Chaos at Sprint! #sprintlikehell"

That was shortly after the news hit the wires that Sprint was dropping its bid to acquire T-Mobile after the Federal Communication Commission made it clear that there was no chance a deal would ever be approved. Legere's taunts of Sprint and its CEO continued in rapid succession as he used them as an excuse to direct sales pitches to Sprint customers. "Is Sprint a melting ice cube?….looks like it to me….join the cool brand NOW!" Legere Tweeted a few minutes later.

The jeers just kept on coming, apparently the result of pent-up Twitter comments that had been on hold while Sprint was trying to buy T-Mobile. Legere isn't talking so far, but there's at least some indication that T-Mobile's CEO was hoping to be put in charge of the combined company and made reference several times to taking his "UnCarrier" concept to a bigger platform.

But of course the FCC derailed that when it turned thumbs down on a plan by Sprint and T-Mobile to submit joint bids for unused television spectrum at a 2015 auction. A blog posting on the official FCC blog made it clear that it wouldn't allow such cooperation between two large bidders.

Perhaps because of plans were in the works, Legere was uncharacteristically quiet about Sprint since the beginning of 2014, despite the fact that the failing carrier provided a wealth of potential material. Legere did not spare his other competitors, rarely passing up an opportunity to tweak Verizon or AT&T. Then the dam burst.

First it was Sprint's friends and family plan, which the company refers to using the word "Framily." Legere suggested that a "Framily Feud" had just erupted and it was time to leave Sprint. That spirit continued. "Looks like @sprint has a new #framily member… and he’s got a lot of framily therapy to do, asap. #justsayin," Legere Tweeted.

Meanwhile, apparently Legere was annoyed that Sprint's new CEO Marcelo Claure had mispronounced his name, and so he let Claure have it. "Pro-tip for @marceloclaure, tell people how to pronounce your name now... #leegair!?"

All of this happened in the space of a couple of hours, at which point Legere moved on to his prediction that T-Mobile would pass Sprint as the third largest carrier in the U.S. by the end of 2014. "I predict the #uncarrier will overtake @Sprint in total customers by the end of the year! There, I said it!" Legere said in his next Tweet.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...