Sprint questions decision on telecom bid

Sprint Nextel will have a tough time proving the government made a mistake in rejecting last week the company's bid for a piece of a multibillion dollar federal telecommunications deal, according to several analysts, quoted by an Associated Press report.

The Associated Press report said the General Services Administration awarded the 10-year 'Networx Universal' contract, worth up to $48 billion, to AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest.

Failing to win a spot is a blow to Sprint, which would be shut out from bidding for contracts from individual federal agencies over the next decade, the report said. Such business accounted for $324.7 million of its sales in the fiscal year ended last September 30, according to the GSA, it added.

The company said it will get a 'debriefing' later this week from the GSA about why it wasn't chosen and then decide whether to file a protest, the report said. The Associated Press report also quoted Sprint as saying that it won't comment on the bid or possible protest until after it meets with the government.

GSA officials also are not commenting on why they didn't pick Sprint. But several analysts said the odds are long that Sprint can prove the government made a mistake, the report further said.

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