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Sprint eyes T-Mobile, grabs $32 BEELLION from wallet, prepares to SLURP

Values wireless carrier at around $40 a share

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The question - not if - but when Sprint would snap up T-Mobile in the US moved one step closer to reality today, after the wireless carrier was reportedly valued at nearly $40 a share.

T-Mobile, according to the Wall Street Journal, has been valued at around $32bn. A merger could be agreed within weeks, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Such an acquisition would consolidate the market, where Sprint and T-Mobile are the third and fourth biggest US mobile carriers behind Verizon Communications and AT&T.

But it's unlikely that such a huge takeover would swerve regulatory scrutiny stateside.

Apparently, insiders have told the WSJ that T-Mobile being wedded to Sprint was a "long-term survival" tactic.

The companies are understood to want to join forces to compete with AT&T and Verizon for spectrum, after the Federal Communications Commission relaxed plans to bar the country's largest carriers from bidding to swallow big gulps of airwaves. ®

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