Sprint's troubles inspire rumor mill

Sprint's recent troubles have made plenty of investors and subscribers uneasy, which has led to a number of acquisition-related rumors and highly speculative analysis. Here are three:

Sprint to spin-off Nextel

According to a Seeking Alpha report, Sprint Nextel has hired Morgan Stanley to implement board director Ralph Whitworth's plan to spin-off Nextel. Rumor has it the spin-off will be announced within the next two to four weeks. Most of Sprint's trouble can be traced back to the Nextel acquisition in the first place.

T-Mobile may acquire Sprint

Merrill Lynch analysts told the Kansas City Star today that Deutsche Telekom, owner of T-Mobile USA, might be considering a takeover of Sprint in an attempt to prevent a price war between the mobile carriers. Sprint's low share price and the weakness of the U.S. dollar both favor the European company, but Merrill Lynch said it is not privy to any inside information--it's just speculating.

Should Verizon buy Sprint?

Last week the Wall Street Journal's deals blog considered whether Verizon should acquire Sprint. The post brings up Verizon's stellar decision not to make a bid for Sprint back in 2004.

What do you think? Do any of these ring true?

For more on the rumor mill's field day with Sprint:
- read this post about spinning off Nextel
- check out this article about T-Mobile's interest
- read this blog post from the WSJ about Verizon

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