It's Ron Sommer Calling--Again

It's one of Europe's longest-running business soap operas: Will German phone giant Deutsche Telekom finally take the plunge in the U.S. market? Ron Sommer, who heads the $200 billion company, needs a U.S. beachhead to make his former monopoly a global telecom player. And he has $100 billion for acquisitions burning a hole in his pocket.

Yet Sommer has fumbled a string of proposed corporate marriages. Last year he failed to pry Qwest Communications loose from a merger with US West. Before that he tried to merge with Telecom Italia but lost a humiliating battle to a much smaller Italian rival....

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