Leap Wireless' Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of indie wireless service provider Leap Wireless International (NAS: LEAP) hopped, skipped, and jumped to a 12% intraday gain on above-average trading volume.

So what: Leap is one of many small operators that AT&T (NYS: T) reportedly approached to ask for help with the pending T-Mobile merger. Unloading some non-critical assets to Leap, US Cellular (NYS: USM) , MetroPCS (NYS: PCS) , and maybe even Sprint-Nextel (NYS: S) might make the two-headed beast look less anticompetitive, according to Bloomberg's nameless sources.

Now what: This is a "Hail Mary" option for AT&T, and a consummated merger would rank right up there with Franco Harris' immaculate reception. The antitrust and anticompetitive hurdles in the way are just too great for a simple flea-flicker of an asset sale to save the day. Nearly all of AT&T's prospective customers outgained the general market on this news, and I'm pretty sure they'll have to give it all back -- this play probably won't happen after all.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor AndersBylundholds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of AT&T. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that consideringadiverserangeofinsights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is investorswritingforinvestors.

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