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AT&T Cash, Breakup Fee Said to Win T-Mobile USA Over Sprint

AT&T Inc. beat out Sprint Nextel Corp. with a $39 billion offer for T-Mobile USA after agreeing to pay mostly cash and a higher-than-average breakup fee, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

AT&T stepped up talks in past weeks to reach an agreement with Deutsche Telekom AG, T-Mobile USA’s owner, said the people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations were private. Sprint had discussed paying a lower price for T-Mobile USA and couldn’t agree with Deutsche Telekom on a valuation, the people said.