Sprint Nextel, SK Telecom Said To Be Talking Tech, Not Acquisition

Reuters late on Tuesday said that an earlier report by CNBC, which said earlier in the day that SK Telecom wanted to buy Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 U.S.-based mobile service, now appears to be mistaken, and that the two are instead discussing technology cooperation.

Both companies run wireless networks based on CDMA technology, Reuters said.

A Sprint Nextel spokesperson told ChannelWeb that Sprint Nextel does not comment on rumors and that it will not comment on any possible discussions with SK Telecom.

Tom Watts, an analyst with Cowen and Company, a New York-based investment bank, wrote on Wednesday that SK Telecom's interest in Sprint Nextel highlights strategic possibilities for the struggling U.S. wireless company, which he said could use a partner to help it migrate to newer 4G technology.

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SK Telecom previously said it would be interested in investing $5 billion in Sprint Nextel, Watts wrote, "so we believe an investment is possible."

Shares of Sprint Nextel, which soared about 10 percent Tuesday on word of a possible acquisition by SK Telecom, were down about 2 percent late in the trading day on Wednesday.