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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — If Sprint gets the iPhone, it may be surprisingly good news for AT&T.

Two of Sprint’s (S, Fortune 500) prime arguments against AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile are that competition in the wireless market remains limited to the Big Two — Verizon Wireless and AT&T — and that Sprint is effectively locked out of getting the best handsets.

But if the iPhone lands in Sprint’s stores, Apple’s (AAPL, Fortune 500) smartphone could undermine the No. 3 wireless company’s anti-merger arguments.

“I think Sprint getting the iPhone inhibits its case,” said Keith Hylton, professor at Boston University’s School of Law. “The iPhone is the gold standard in handsets now. If you have the iPhone, it becomes hard to argue that you’re locked out of the best handsets.”

Several mobile experts agreed that the biggest beneficiary of Sprint getting the iPhone could ultimately be AT&T.


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