There must be parallels in many countries. Take [Germany].
T-Mobile USA [E-Plus] is having difficulties in financing the inevitable LTE upgrade. Hence, a long period of merger speculation around Sprint [O2]. Now however, T-Mobile USA [E-Plus] is sold to the the market leader, AT&T [Deutsche Telekom], for 7.1x 2010 EBITDA.
(OK, the comparison fails in two areas: there has never been a conflict of technology between E-Plus and O2, the way it exists between T-Mobile USA and Sprint. And Deutsche Telekom doesn't need E-Plus to get to nationwide coverage.)
So how much would E-Plus cost? At 7.1x 2010 EBITDA, the price would be close to ... EUR 10bn! (EUR 9.8bn, to be more precise, leaving EUR 200m for those poor starving bankers).