The possible T-Mobile and MetroPCS merger just got more interesting. Bloomberg has reported that Sprint is considering a counteroffer to T-Mobile's bid to acquire the low-priced wireless company.
The acquisition of MetroPCS would be a gift and curse for T-Mobile. The two companies use different networks, T-Mobile using GSM and MetroPCS using CDMA. However, T-Mobile would obtain substantial market share in the prepaid market by taking MetroPCS under its wing.
Sprint is a CDMA-based network like MetroPCS, so the acquisition would be beneficial in allowing for expansion in metropolitan markets like New York City, Los Angeles, and Dallas. The 4G LTE networks of the two companies runs on different spectrums, so a merger could bring device compatibility issues and high maintenance costs for Sprint. According to Reuters, Sprint expressed interest in MetroPCS back in February with a bid of $8 billion, but Sprint declined to comment on the rumor.
Sprint, the larger company of the two, could easily outbid T-Mobile, but after the disastrous outcome of its Nextel deal, does it really want to go down that road again?