A brief history of the epic Twitter beef between T-Mobile and Sprint
T-Mobile CEO John Legere hasn’t always been so positive about Sprint.
Image: john moore/Getty Images
If you’ve been a close observer of T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s Twitter feed, you were likely as surprised as anyone when he confirmed that his company had finally signed onto a $26.5 billion deal to merge with Sprint.
Not because the two companies had tried and failed at a similar deal two times before, though, but because Legere actually had some nice things to say about his longtime competitor.
While the outspoken CEO has been known for his extremely blunt tweets, he’s reserved his harshest words for other carriers (he was forced to apologize in 2014 after accusing AT&T and Verizon of “raping” customers).
But Sprint and its CEO Marcelo Claure may just have been one of his favorite targets over the years. From Claure’s public speaking abilities, to empty Sprint stores, almost nothing has been off limits.
Here’s a look back at some of the best barbs the two have traded over the years
Claure hadn’t yet taken the reins as Sprint CEO, but Legere still had it out for his closest competitor.
2013: The Black Friday shade
Seizing on what appears to be an empty Sprint store on Black Friday, Legere invited the employees to “come work @Tmobile.” Ouch.
This wouldn’t be the last time he tweeted a photo of a supposedly empty Sprint store, either. He tweeted this gem in 2015.
2014: The hashtag diss
In 2014, Legere goes hard on hashtags. This is when he coins what would soon become his favorite way to throw shade: #sprintlikehell.
It started with a dig at Sprint for misspelling a simple hashtag, but soon took on a life of its own.
He often throws in an animated GIF for good measure, too. In four years, he’s used the hashtag a total of 94 times by my count.
2014: Claure takes over as Sprint CEO, Legere mocks him almost immediately
Two things happened in August 2014: The first negotiations between Sprint and T-Mobile broke down, and Claure took over the CEO role at Sprint. Feeling burned, Legere wasted no time in going after Sprint and its new top executive.
He went on a Twitter rant just one day later, calling Sprint a “melting ice cube” and urged customers to “jump off the Sprint bus before it crashes.” He also threw in the #framily hashtag because he aparrently can’t let anything go.
Not long after, he seized on a video of one of Claure’s first public appearances as CEO, calling it “boring.”
2014: The baseball burn
Of course Legere used his congratulatory World Series tweet to also diss Sprint.
2015: The burn disguised as a compliment
2015: Claure starts to fire back, Legere is not impressed
After Claure discovers “the respond button,” the two CEOs get into a tiff over which one of them is the third-place network.
Claure advises Legere to “stop reacting like a Tasmanian Devil,” and to stop tweeting (sadly, he does not, in fact, advise him to delete his account).
2015: The kind of burn that can only come from a CEO
In which Legere claims the prospect of Sprint’s very existence is a “forward looking statement.”
They keep arguing about metrics, too.
Also, at some point that summer, Claure apparently has enough and tells Legere that “I am so tired of your Uncarrier bullshit.” He deletes those tweets but not before Legere could screen cap them.
2015: The Halloween-themed jabs
Because of course.
2016: T-Mobile has an outage, Claure trolls T-Mobile
Turning the tables a bit, Claure calls out Legere and offered to send Sprint’s engineers to help.
2016: Claure accuses Legere of “drinking and tweeting,” and calls him a “con artist”
you truly are a con artist. No doubt. Good luck.
— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) August 18, 2016
2017: Yes, the feud is still somehow going
While Legere is still happily advising people to #sprintlikehell, Claure trolls his rival with this pic of a speed test supposedly conducted near a T-Mobile office in Seattle.
2018: FINALLY BFFs
After finally agreeing to a deal, Legere and Claure have apparently reached some kind of truce in the name of 5G. No word yet on if they plan to stop tweeting.