Amazing. Just when you think the market is starting to regain some level of sanity, along comes "news" that embattled telecom Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) is the target of a takeover.

Early Monday, The Wall Street Journal kicked off a flurry of activity when it cited inside sources regarding merger discussions between Germany's Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT) and Sprint Nextel. The report said Deutsche Telekom is thinking about picking up Sprint Nextel on the cheap, with the intent to combine it with its T-Mobile USA operations and create the largest wireless carrier in the U.S.

OK, let's pause for a sanity check. Sprint Nextel is fodder for the market because it has destroyed billions in shareholder value trying to integrate disparate network technologies into one cohesive brand. And now, it's somehow a good idea for a foreign company that operates yet another different network technology to take over this giant mess?

What baffles me even more than thinking a merger like this could see the light of day is the market's reaction to it. Shares of Sprint Nextel jumped more than 10%, both on this news and on a rehash of more elaborate buyout options involving the likes of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), and even cable companies. The strategies in those theoretical pairings included carving up the Sprint Nextel turkey and separating the WiMax efforts, the Nextel unit, and Sprint's traditional CDMA network operations.

The conspiracy theorist within me can't help wondering about the timing of this news. After all, Sprint reports earnings next week, and few expect the news to be pretty. What's more, these rumor reports just preceded also-not-new news that Qwest (NYSE: Q) is dumping Sprint as a wireless wholesaler for Verizon (NYSE: VZ). And a brief yet long overdue official press release that T-Mobile is finally launching 3G services years behind leaders AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon showed up, too. I don't know about you, but I could have sworn I saw black helicopters flying overhead last night.

Whatever the case, I think investors have placed too much importance on this news. It's not surprising to have all of these companies discussing a potential deal in some form. What is surprising is that the market bought the whole thing -- hook, line, and sinker.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock doesn't believe in conspiracy theories. He just has an aversion to barcodes and credit cards. He owns shares of Intel and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Intel and Sprint Nextel are Inside Value recommendations. The Fool's disclosure policy is really a tool of the government.