reportedly is weighing a bid for
, with which it jointly owns Verizon Wireless, signed off on the move.
An offer from the nation's biggest phone company could pre-empt Sprint's efforts to acquire
, a transaction that was expected to be formalized Wednesday.
Verizon has been considering a bid for Sprint for a year-and-a-half and its board met in recent days to discuss a takeover,
The Wall Street Journal
reported Tuesday. It remains unclear whether an offer is forthcoming, the newspaper reported.
Sprint's board is expected to meet for a second day Tuesday to discuss its plans for Nextel. It was widely reported last week that Sprint was weighing a $35 billion merger with the No. 5 wireless company. Sprint is the third-biggest phone and wireless company in the U.S.
Verizon Wireless is currently the second-biggest wireless operator in the U.S. behind Cingular, a unit of
. It would become the biggest if it added Sprint.
story also noted that Verizon has urged Vodafone to exit their Verizon Wireless venture in recent days, a departure that the latter tried to carry out over the summer by acquiring AT&T Wireless. The AT&T assets were eventually won by Cingular.