Sprint Nextel mum on reported DT bid

Sprint Nextel was silent about its future as reports emerged that the company was considering spinning off or selling Nextel to German carrier Deutsche Telekom, an Associated Press report said.

Deutsche Telekom is reportedly looking at a bid to buy the struggling wireless provider.

The Wall Street Journal, quoting unidentified people familiar with the situation, reported that deliberations between Germany's Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of No. 4 wireless company T-Mobile, and Sprint Nextel were at 'a preliminary stage and management may very well turn away.'

Such a deal would catapult Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile wireless unit to the top spot in the US market.

Sprint Nextel spokeswoman Leigh Horner said the company had no comment.

Deutsche Telekom did not comment.

Sprint Nextel's faltering stock price and the expected exodus of millions of subscribers this year have caused continued speculation about the company's future.

Qwest Communications International announced that it would stop reselling Sprint's wireless service and switch to Verizon Wireless.
As of the end of last year, Qwest contributed about 824,000 of Sprint's 53.8 million subscribers.

Some analysts have speculated that Deutsche Telekom might consider buying Sprint to bulk up and prevent an escalation of flat-rate pricing in the industry.

But the two carriers' technologies are incompatible, a challenge Sprint has already seen enough of in the merger with Nextel.