Deutsche Telekom, Sprint eye US tie-up

City A.M. Reporter
DEUTSCHE Telekom has held talks with larger rival Sprint Nextel over a potential sale of T-Mobile USA in exchange for a 50 per cent stake each in the combined company, sources said yesterday.

The company has made no secret of the fact that it has held talks with smaller companies such as Clearwire and Harbinger-backed start-up LightSquared about a potential spectrum deal with its US operation, T-Mobile USA.

Deutsche Telekom is open to all options in the US, chief financial officer Timotheus Hoettges said in an email.

Hoettges said the operator was not pressed for time, although the company acknowledged earlier that it needs access to more wireless spectrum in coming years for data services.

T-Mobile USA, ranked a distant fourth in the U.S. mobile market, and Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. operator, declined to comment on deal talks.

A deal with Sprint would create a much bigger third U.S. mobile provider to compete with the dominant operators Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc