Sprint Left Scrambling After AT&T Deal

The combination between AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA would leave Sprint Nextel Corp. even further behind.
The surprising deal would widen the gap between Sprint and its two larger rivals, and would place it last among the national wireless carriers. It also puts Sprint in an awkward position–it too was in talks to merge its operations with T-Mobile, with AT&T essentially snatching up Sprint’s best means to make up ground.

Sprint shares tumbled 13 percent to $4.39 in Monday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, even as shares of rivals were trading higher. The stock had gained 19 percent this year through Friday’s close.

“This will certainly make Sprint’s life more difficult,” said Roger Entner, a consultant with Recon Analytics.

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