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Rumor Mill: Sprint to Bid For T-Mobile

Sprint Corp. is working toward a possible bid for rival T-Mobile US Inc., people familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for a giant telecom merger that if permitted by regulators would leave the U.S. wireless market dominated by three big companies.

Sprint is studying regulatory concerns and could launch a bid in the first half of next year, the people said. A deal could be worth more than $20 billion, depending on the size of any stake in T-Mobile that Sprint tries to buy.

A merger of the third and fourth largest U.S. carriers would create a sizable competitor to industry leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. But it would likely face tough opposition from antitrust authorities, who worry consumers could suffer without a fourth national competitor to keep a check on prices.

It has only been two years since the Justice Department shot down AT&T’s $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile. The smaller carrier is wary of wasting more time on an ultimately fruitless merger deal, people familiar with its thinking said.


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