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Will Sprint steal MetroPCS from under T-Mobile's nose?

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Reuters

(Read caption) A woman talks on her phone as she walks past T-Mobile and Sprint wireless stores in New York in this July 30, 2009 file photo. Sprint Nextel Corp is in the early stages of considering a counter-offer for MetroPCS Communications Inc to top Deutsche Telekom's bid to combine it with T-Mobile USA, according to reports.

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In a joint statement yesterday, Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile USA, and MetroPCS, a budget carrier based in Texas, confirmed the two companies would merge under the T-Mobile banner. The merger would boost T-Mobile's subscriber count by 9.3 million subscribers, giving the carrier approximately 40 million subscribers in all. That's far behind the numbers claimed by Verizon and AT&T, but a boost nonetheless. 

Now comes news that Deutsche Telekom isn't the only one interested in MetroPCS. According to BusinessWeek, rival Sprint is "crunching the numbers and holding talks with its advisers to weigh the feasibility of a higher offer" for MetroPCS. (Deutsche Telekom was reportedly ready to pay $1.5 billion for MetroPCS; MetroPCS would also have a 26 percent stake in the new company, Engadget says.) 

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