Sprint weighs rival bid for MetroPCS

  • Business
  • Saturday, 06 Oct 2012

NEW YORK: Sprint Nextel Corp is considering making a rival bid for MetroPCS Communications Inc, which agreed on Wednesday to a merger with Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA, according to people familiar with the situation.

Sprint, the No. 3 US wireless carrier, is deciding whether to go public with a bid for MetroPCS, or to wait to bid for the combined company, in which Deutsche Telekom would own a 76% stake, one of the sources said on Thursday.

Sprint, which according to sources came close to buying MetroPCS for some US$8bil including debt in February, declined to comment.

Analysts and bankers have been expecting a fresh round of consolidation in the US wireless industry since AT&T Inc's bid to buy T-Mobile USA collapsed late last year and some analysts worry that if Sprint does not make a move now, it will be left out in the cold.

The market is dominated by No. 2 US provider AT&T and its bigger rival Verizon Wireless with Sprint and T-Mobile USA trailing far behind in third and fourth place respectively.

Both smaller companies have been losing customers as they have had trouble competing with bigger and even smaller rivals such as MetroPCS and Leap Wireless, which target the market's fastest growing segment cost-conscious customers who pay for calls in advance and don't commit to contracts.

Several analysts said that Sprint could be in a position to make MetroPCS a better offer than the T-Mobile USA deal. Reuters

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