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This column was originally published on RealMoney on Sept. 19 at 8:47 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for readers.

How long can


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stay independent? Doesn't

Deutsche Telekom's

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T-Mobile have to buy it?

Down 22% for the year, Sprint simply can't recover from its mistakes. But the company's not falling apart. And it got some very good news from this FCC license auction: T-Mobile, Deutsche Telecom's play in the U.S.

bid the most for new spectrum, allowing it to upgrade its network to 3G. T-Mobile spent more than $4 billion for 120 licenses.

I have always thought the key for Sprint was to get a bid from T-Mobile and its growth-challenged parent, Deutsche Telekom. But T-Mobile seemed to have dropped behind in the hunt, and I began to wonder whether it had decided to accept its second-tier status. This step-up in the auction by T-Mobile, combined with the collapse of Sprint's stock price, tells me that Sprint could be in play for a takeover, with a possible point down and maybe 6 or 7 points of upside. Don't forget that





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are hitting their highs. It's mighty embarrassing to be flirting with lows, as Sprint is.

Seems to me that the trade's worth taking.

Random musings:

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At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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