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UPDATE 1-Sprint holds off on MetroPCS bid, for now - sources

(Adds more source comments)

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The shares of wireless serviceprovider MetroPCS closed down 4 about percent on Wednesday aftera source said Sprint Nextel Corp is still weighing whetherto make a counter bid for the company.

MetroPCS agreed last week to merge with Deutsche Telekom AG

unit T-Mobile USA, but many investors had hopedSprint would make a higher counter bid.

Sprint was not immediately available for comment onWednesday afternoon. MetroPCS declined comment.

Sprint's board met on Friday to discuss a potential bid forthe smaller company, another source familiar with the mattertold Reuters.

After the meeting the company decided to wait as itconsiders issues such as MetroPCS' share price, according to thefirst person, who asked not to be named because the source wasnot authorized to be quoted by the media.

MetroPCS shares had more than doubled since June this yearas investors speculated it would be bought. But the shares havefallen 11 percent since Oct. 2, the day before it announced itsproposed deal with T-Mobile USA.

Some analysts have said combining with Sprint might bebetter because MetroPCS and T-Mobile USA have incompatiblenetworks, while Sprint uses the same technology.

As a result, Sprint might do well to wait and see if thestock falls lower to potentially get a better deal withMetroPCS, according to the first source.

The company could wait until just before MetroPCSshareholders are expected to vote on the deal in January, thesource said. MetroPCS has not disclosed when a shareholder votewill happen.

Another source familiar with the matter said it would makesense for Sprint to wait until December to make a bid.

Sprint had already tried to buy MetroPCS, but its boardbalked at the last minute in February, sources told Reuters atthe time.

MetroPCS shares were down 47 cents at $12.04 on the New YorkStock Exchange. Sprint shares were up 9 cents, or almost 2percent, at $5.04.

(Reporting By Paritosh Bansal, Nadia Damouni, So Young Kim andSinead Carew.; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Andre Grenon)

((sinead.carew@thomsonreuters.com)(+ 1 646 2236186))

Keywords: METROPCS SPRINT/