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Sprint isn't the only company hoping to shell out billions for the privilege of scooping up T-Mobile's US branch; according to the Wall Street Journal, a French company called Iliad wants in on the action as well. Iliad, which owns a mobile operator in France known as Free, recently made a bid to counter the reported $32 billion offer T-Mobile is already entertaining with Sprint's parent company Softbank. The terms of the deal are unknown, and it's unclear how Iliad can pay for such a transaction, since its market value of $16 billion is merely half of what Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son is putting on the table.

Iliad's point of view is that its offer will be looked upon more favorably by regulators than a potential merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. If its bid is successful, the company plans to take control of the carrier, which means there would still be four major national players in the US. Since competition is one of the biggest concerns to the Powers That Be, Iliad believes its offer would stand a much better chance of clearing the necessary legal hurdles. And if the company were to use the same strategy with T-Mobile as it does with Free, it's likely the UnCarrier moves would not only continue but get even more aggressive in pricing. It's hard to say at this point if T-Mobile and parent company Deutsche Telekom will entertain Iliad's offer, but at least the situation just became a whole lot more intriguing.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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