T-Mobile, Rest Easy: Sprint Won't Pursue MetroPCS, For Now

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q3 2012 or here for the biggest M&A during that time in the service-provider and BSS/OSS spaces.**

Busy working on getting its $20 billion deal with Japan's Softbank approved, Sprint isn't likely to counter T-Mobile USA's offer for MetroPCS, America's fifth-largest wireless provider.

Sprint announced in October that it would sell 70 percent of its business to Softbank of Japan, which controls the third-largest wireless operator in that Asian nation. It seems getting involved in a play for MetroPCS would get a little messy right now, "people familiar with the matter" told Reuters this week. In other words, Sprint doesn't need to get knee-deep in another deal while its pending Softbank partnership is being closely scrutinized.

T-Mobile USA, the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary that is the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S., said one week before the Sprint-Softbank announcement that its board had approved the purchase of MetroPCS for $1.5 billion. A deal between the two companies, however, doesn't preclude Sprint from making an offer of its own – something those same Reuters sources say isn't off the table entirely, but wouldn't be revisited until after any Softbank-Sprint agreement is all sewn up.

Sprint is said, however, to be in talks to buy the half of Clearwire that it doesn't own.

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