Sprint, Level 3 to Combine LD Networks Reports

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) is in nascent, non-committed talks to combine its long-distance network with that of Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT)

If the deal materializes, the joint venture would position the two companies as pretty intimidating rivals to AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ). The Journal said Sprint would want to keep at least 51 percent ownership in any deal with Level 3.

But there are potential obstacles. For one thing, Level 3 is carrying more than $6 billion in debt. And Sprint has financial concerns of its own. If a merger of sorts doesn’t happen, Sprint and Level 3 could just partner on network sharing, sources told the Journal.

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