Sprint in no hurry to raise stakes for MetroPCS merger

The carrier is delaying a counteroffer for MetroPCS in an effort to see Deutsche Telekom's merger plan, sources tell Bloomberg.

Greg Sandoval/CNET

Sprint appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach on a possible acquisition bid for MetroPCS.

The No. 3 wireless carrier is delaying a counteroffer in an effort to examine Deutsche Telekom's plan to merge the prepaid carrier with T-Mobile, sources tell Bloomberg. The company is reportedly holding its counteroffer for a chance to see Deutsche Telekom's proxy filing to examine details of the German communications giant's negotiations.

CNET has contacted Sprint for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile, announced a plan last week to buy MetroPCS and combine it with T-Mobile. The combined entity would give T-Mobile, the fourth-largest national wireless carrier, additional spectrum in key urban markets throughout the U.S., such as New York and San Francisco. T-Mobile is expected to use the additional spectrum to build its 4G LTE network.

Though the new T-Mobile would still be much smaller than the other three national carriers, the deal would make T-Mobile much more competitive with rivals AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint. The deal would also eliminate a potential acquisition target for Sprint, which some speculate could make an offer for Leap Wireless, another prepaid operator with a similar business to MetroPCS. However, MetroPCS' spectrum position is more attractive than that of Leap Wireless, which has not yet begun a 4G LTE build.

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