Sprint and SK Telecom: A Match Made in the Imagination?

A recent CNBC report said that SK Telecom (the South Korean carrier who had owned Helio) is again in talks to acquire Sprint Nextel. This rumor has been floating around for the past year or so.

Here’s how it went down, according to Barron’s: CNBC, which attributed its report to people familiar with the talks, said that the South Korean carrier would be joined by private equity firms in the deal. CNBC also said an actual deal is not imminent, and that “any agreement would be weeks away at best. And they also said that the Sprint board is divided on whether to sell the company, and that SK Telecom would only do a friendly deal.”

After that report hit the wires, the Wall Street Journal ran another one that said that the two companies have been in preliminary talks “to form a strategic partnership to develop new handsets and services,” according to “people familiar with the matter,” but an outright merger is not under consideration. Who’s right? Beats us.

Update: SK Telecom has now put up an official statement saying that they’re not buying Sprint. Guess that settles it.