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T-Mobile CEO on Being Thrown Out of AT&T's Party: "I Just Wanted to Hear Macklemore"

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has been trying to crash AT&T's party for a while now. At CES on Monday, he got his chance.

Lauren Goode

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has been trying to crash AT&T’s party metaphorically for a while now.

On Monday, he decided to do it literally, working his way into a party that the telecom giant was throwing for its developers at the Palms Hotel.

Legere says he wasn’t looking to make a scene, insisting he just wanted to see the party’s headline act.

“I just wanted to hear Macklemore,” Legere told Re/code.

AT&T apparently didn’t take too kindly to Legere’s presence, asking the hotel’s security to have him removed. And it’s not as if Legere was hard to spot. He was wearing his familiar magenta T-Mobile logo shirt under a leather jacket.

“All of a sudden these gigantic goons said ‘Can I talk to you over here,'” Legere said in an interview outside the Venetian hotel later on Monday, adding that he was told that if he didn’t leave immediately he would be charged with trespassing. Legere said he was also escorted from the premises.

Legere is used to pissing people off, but said he usually does so from a safe distance. He also pointed out that AT&T spent a small fortune on the party, noting he could have cut prices quite a bit with all the money AT&T spent.

An AT&T representative wouldn’t comment on the decision to remove Legere.

One observer did point out that at roughly the same time Legere was being tossed from the party, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega was onstage at the Audi keynote announcing AT&T had won a deal to replace T-Mobile as the provider of wireless services for the German automaker’s vehicles.

The battle between T-Mobile and AT&T, always intense, has been growing more heated in recent weeks. AT&T announced a promotion last week offering up to $450 in credit to T-Mobile customers willing to switch. Legere called it a “desperate move.”

It’s the latest of many shots from Legere, who frequently uses AT&T as a punching bag on Twitter.

In an interview on Monday, de la Vega dismissed T-Mobile’s efforts as all talk, insisting AT&T has the better network and customer service and that T-Mobile’s only option is to try to cut prices.

T-Mobile, meanwhile, is expected to announce the next phase of its “Un-carrier” effort at a press conference on Wednesday.

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