Deutsche Telekom must have Sprint programmed into its speed dial.
Europe's largest telecom operator and owner of T-Mobile reportedly is again talking about floating a multibillion-dollar offer to buy Sprint.
Both companies declined to comment.
But rumors of a deal between the two companies — the third- and fourth-largest carriers in the United States — keep popping up because Sprint and T-Mobile continue to lose money and lag far behind the larger Verizon and AT&T, said Michael Nelson, research analyst at Soleil Securities in New York.
"I think right now it's clear that Sprint and T-Mobile are having an increasingly difficult time competing in the current environment, and there's really no easy solution," Nelson said. "It's potential consolidation as a necessity."
A Deutsche Telekom-Sprint deal makes strategic sense because both companies are suffering as wireless carriers slash prices in an ultra-competitive market, Nelson said.
"By combining the two companies, it would arguably place the combined company in a better, stronger competitive position," he said. "I think consolidation in the wireless industry is a necessary evil and makes a lot of sense."
In March last year, a Merrill Lynch analyst mentioned that Deutsche Telecom might consider buying Sprint. And in May 2008, German national magazine Der Spiegel reported that Deutsche Telekom was discussing an offer.
Now, the United Kingdom newspaper Sunday Telegraph has reported that the German wireless behemoth has called in advisers from Deutsche Bank to look at buying Sprint. The Telegraph said that Deutsche Telecom could submit a bid for Sprint, which has a market valuation of about $11 billion, within the next few weeks.
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