T-Mobile, Rest Easy: Sprint Won’t Pursue MetroPCS, For Now

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Busy working on getting its $20 billion deal with Japan’s Softbank approved, Sprint isn’t likely to counter T-Mobile USA’s offer for MetroPCS, America’s fifth-largest wireless provider.

Sprint announced in October that it would sell 70 percent of its business to Softbank of Japan, which controls the third-largest wireless operator in that Asian nation. It seems getting involved in a play for MetroPCS would get a little messy right now, “people familiar with the matter” told Reuters this week. In other words, Sprint doesn’t need to get knee-deep in another deal while its pending Softbank partnership is being closely scrutinized.

T-Mobile USA, the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary that is the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S., said one week before the Sprint-Softbank announcement that its board had approved the purchase of MetroPCS for $1.5 billion. A deal between the two companies, however, doesn’t preclude Sprint from making an offer of its own something those same Reuters sources say isn’t off the table entirely, but wouldn’t be revisited until after any Softbank-Sprint agreement is all sewn up.

Sprint is said, however, to be in talks to buy the half of Clearwire that it doesn’t own.

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