DT chief fuels Sprint acquisition rumors

Will Deutsche Telekom make a move on Sprint Nextel, or are there too many hurdles to overcome for such a supersized intermarket merger?

The German telco has, for the most part, been typically stoic in its lack of comment about a possible deal. But there has been plenty of speculation from analysts and competitors about DT's ability--or inability--to merge two incompatible technologies, not to mention cultures.

DT CEO René Obermann may have revealed the telco's hand a bit Thursday when he told analysts during the company's earnings call that, "We can't rule out acquisitions which, when evaluated under strict financial and business criteria, would bring a clear profit and return on investment. That we must do and we will continue to do in the future."

A person briefed on the situation told the International Herald Tribune that the German company and Sprint had been in talks about a possible takeover for two weeks. A deal could be worth some $52 billion, leapfrogging T-Mobile from third to first in the U.S. mobile market ahead of AT&T and Verizon. The Trib also reported the two companies already had approached the FCC about possible objections to the deal. Sprechen Sie Deutsches im Kansas City?

T-Mobile USA, by the way, reported it added one million customers in the first quarter, bringing it over the 30 million subscriber mark. -Dan

For more:
- read the International Herald Tribune's story

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