Auction over: Time for Leap-MetroPCS to merge?

Now that the 700 MHz auction is over Leap Wireless and MetroPCS can resume talks about a merger since the FCC's anti-collusion rules are no longer in effect. During the bidding process for the wireless spectrum, participants were not allowed to discuss business propositions or spectrum strategy. Analysts expect the companies to begin talks and eventually work out a deal, according to a report from the AP. FierceWireless predicted at the beginning of the year that the two carriers would renew talks after the auction, too.

MetroPCS placed an unsolicited buyout bid on Leap Wireless last year, but Leap rejected the bid. MetroPCS offered $5.5 billion in stock plus $2 billion in acquired debt for Leap. As the carrier mulled the unsolicited bid, its executives and board members got antsy:  First, Leap's CFO Amin Khalifa left the flat-rate carrier. Then, James Dondero, a Leap board member and president of Highland Capital Management resigned effective immediately.

For more on the potential deal:
- read this article from the AP
- check out the backstory to the deal here