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AT&T Wireless Reportedly to Consider Merger With Nextel

A deal with Nextel would create a combined company with 18 million customers.

Updated from 7:51 a.m. EDT

AT&T Wireless


will weigh a possible merger with

Nextel Communications


at a board meeting later this month,

The Wall Street Journal

reported Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.

The meeting will also include a discussion of other strategic options, according to the article, in an effort to boost its languishing stock price. New York-based AT&T Wireless went public a few months ago as a tracking stock of its parent,


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A deal with McLean, Va.-based Nextel would create a combined company with 18 million customers and place it in a tie for second place with

SBC Communications


among wireless companies, after

Verizon Wireless

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Other possible deals the company is considering is a merger with U.K. telecom leader

British Telecommunications

, the paper said.

AT&T Wireless finished down 25 cents or 1%, at $25.25, while Nextel finished up $2.94, or 6%, at $53.