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T-Mobile to compete for Leap users 'the old fashioned way': executive

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - T-Mobile US hopes to win over Leap Wireless customers by competing for them "the old fashioned way," a top executive for T-Mobile US said on Tuesday.

Some analysts had speculated that T-Mobile or another company could make a counteroffer for Leap, after AT&T Inc's proposed purchase of Leap for $1.2 billion, or $15 per share.

T-Mobile US Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert declined to say whether his company would put in a bid for Leap.

"We're going to take Leap the old fashioned way, customer by customer in the market and in doing so we'll probably save ourselves billions of billions of dollars," Sievert said in an interview.

Earlier this year T-Mobile US merged with MetroPCS, which was long seen as a natural merger partner with Leap as both companies have a similar customer base and marketing strategy.

Leap's shares have traded above the acquisition price since the deal was announced on Friday evening, fueling speculation that it may receive another bid. Leap shares were up 26 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $17.21 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday afternoon.

(The second paragraph of the story has been corrected to mention AT&T proposed buying Leap and not T-Mobile)

(Reporting by Sinead Carew)

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