Report: BellSouth looking to buy Sprint

Local telephone giant, BellSouth is actively pursuing a buy-out of national long-distance and wireless telecommunications company Sprint , according to a report published Thursday in the Washington Post newspaper. The Post cites sources "familiar with the talks" between BellSouth and Sprint. Furthermore, similar sources are also saying that SBC Communications. has recently held merger talks with the second largest long-distance telephone company in the US, WorldCom, though talks have not been held in recent weeks, the Post said.

Asked about the report, a BellSouth spokesman said the company does not comment on speculation about mergers and acquisitions.

Any possible agreements are still months away, according to the report, but the general belief that the Bush administration would be less likely than the Clinton administration to interfere in any large scale mergers agreements, coupled with the currently softening US economy and falling Wall Street share prices, are promoting such possible telecommunications unions.

Last July, a proposed merger between Sprint and WorldCom was killed off after the US Department of Justice (DOJ), under the Clinton administration, filed an antitrust lawsuit in an attempt to block the merger in federal court. Last October, SBC Communications and BellSouth merged their cellular operations to create Cingular Wireless, a wireless carrier that is second in size only to Verizon Communications Inc. BellSouth, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is at 1-404-249-2000 or at http://www.bellsouth.com/. Sprint, in Westwood, Kansas, can be reached at +1-913-624-3000 or at http://www.sprint.com/. WorldCom, in Jackson, Mississippi, can be reached at +1-601-360-8600 or http://www.wcom.com/. Cingular Wireless, in Atlanta, can be contacted at http://www.cingular.com/.

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