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Unlike most of the tech industry, the four telecom giants have been silent on Trump’s travel ban

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T
Getty Images
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T

While the tech industry as a whole started speaking out against Donald Trump's travel ban over the weekend, one segment has been noticeably silent: The big telecom firms.

There hasn't been a peep from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile, and there could be a clear reason why. Each of those firms really wants big things from the Trump administration and doesn't want to risk angering the new president.

Sprint and T-Mobile are seen as highly likely to seek approval for some sort of merger, while AT&T is in the midst of trying to buy Time Warner. Verizon, which has already made several deals, is seen as a potential buyer of a cable company or other major player that would require regulatory approval.

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All four would also like to see the Federal Communications Commission pull back on overall regulation, including the most aggressive parts of net neutrality. However, with a Republican majority and Ajit Pai as chairman, that seems already to be a done deal.


"I pray that he unites our country and continues to make it an even better place for all Americans regardless of their race, their national origin or their religion." -Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO

The telecommunications companies have largely praised the Trump administration, especially for its choice of Pai to lead the FCC.

For Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and T-Mobile CEO John Legere, there has been a notable shift in tone since the election. Legere had some epic Twitter fights with businessman Trump, while Claure was a vocal supporter of candidate Hillary Clinton.

The day after Trump's victory, though, Legere tweeted his congratulations.

Claure told Sprint employees after the election that he wasn't trying to shy away from his Clinton support, but added that he was going to give Trump "a fair shot."

"I pray that he unites our country and continues to make it an even better place for all Americans regardless of their race, their national origin or their religion," Claure said in the election week email.

As for how Trump's executive orders on immigration fit with his hopes, Sprint and Claure have been silent.

Representatives from all four companies declined comment.

By Ina Fried, Recode.net.

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