Shares of telecom company Qwest (NYSE: Q) are up almost 8% on news that it wants a better deal with Sprint (NYSE: S) for providing wireless service in its region which includes 14 states.
"We need a wireless partnership that is different than the one we have today," Qwest Chief Executive Ed Mueller told an analyst meeting quoted by Reuters, In straight English, that means he wants a bigger piece of the pie for marketing Sprint’s products.
Sprint’s stock is down on the news. But, perhaps it should not be. Qwest, in many ways, is posturing. It could turn to AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) for wireless services but that would be handing the franchise to very powerful companies that are already competing with Qwest for long-distance and business customers. Qwest could turn to wireless also-ran T-Mobile, but its products and services tend to be down-scale.
Qwest is bluffing with nothing more than a pair of twos.
Douglas A. McIntyre