Deutsche Telekom eyes Sprint Nextel

Deutsche Telekom eyes Sprint Nextel
Big in America? Photo:DPA
Deutsche Telekom is considering a partial or even full take over of America’s third-largest mobile phone provider, Sprint Nextel, a move which would put it on a par with the US market leader AT&T Wireless.

Weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday that Telekom managers and their US colleagues are looking at various options for a buy-out or merger, although there are no official negotiations or an offer.

The magazine says it has information that the Sprint project is high on Telekom’s list of priorities, at least partly because the US firm has been fighting technical problems and its market value has sunk to $22 billion.

The current strength of the euro against the dollar would help make Sprint a bargain, analysts say, and would cost Telekom considerably less than the takeover of Voicestream seven years ago – which became T-Mobile USA.

That provoked ructions within the Telekom shareholder community, with criticism aimed at the then Telekom CEO Ron Sommer for the high cost, and calls for compensation.

A Telekom spokesman would not comment on the story to Der Spiegel, saying only, “We do not comment on market rumours.”