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Sprint Back in Takeover Spotlight, But Should It Be?

Monday, 14 Sep 2009 | 3:57 PM ET
Sprint - Together with Nextel
Sprint - Together with Nextel

One of these days it’s plausible to believe that the ailing wireless giant Sprint will be put out of its misery with the receipt of a viable takeover offer.

But don’t count on that being anytime soon.

Despite reportsfrom the U.K.’s Telegraph that Deutsche Telecom is considering a bid for the company, bankers and lawyers who work with Sprint tell me that’s still news to them and the company.

That doesn’t make the Telegraph story untrue, but were any deal in the offing, chances are Sprint and its hired hands would know about it.

Faber Report: Sprint
Discussing takeover rumors involving Sprint and Deutsche Telekom, with CNBC's David Faber.

What I hear from Sprint’s advisors is that anti-trust concerns might make any T-Mobile (DT’s U.S. wireless asset) and Sprint link-up a very difficult deal to get done.

While AT&T and Verizon dominate the U.S. wireless arena, a merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the number three and four players could be a tough one to get past the Obama administration’s anti-trust enforcers.

One scenario involving Sprint and Deutsche Telecom that does make sense involves Clearwire- the Wimax company 51% owned by Sprint that still needs billions of dollars to complete its build out. T-Mobile needs spectrum to start offering a 4-G wireless service and Clearwire has spectrum. While a buyout of Sprint by DT is somewhat hard to imagine, an investment from DT into Clearwire is not a stretch at all.

Stay tuned.

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Questions? Comments? Write to faberreport@cnbc.com.

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