Sprint and iPCS are headed back to court this year after an Illinois court last week ruled a 2006 decision on whether Sprint's acquisition of Nextel violated its exclusivity agreement with iPCS also applied to Sprint's WiMAX operations.
"Sprint and those acting in concert with Sprint may not compete against iPCS in iPCS's exclusive service areas," Cook County Circuit Judge Kathleen Pantle said in her ruling.
iPCS has claimed it holds exclusive rights to market Sprint products in certain areas in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska, along with bordering parts of Indiana and Missouri. At the trial, set for March 30, the court will determine whether Sprint actually has control over the new Clearwire, formed when Sprint and Clearwire combined their WiMAX assets, and if exclusivity agreements apply if Sprint acts through a related party.
Sprint has indicated it will act as an MVNO to sell Clearwire's WiMAX service under the brand "Sprint 4G." This ruling will not be enforced until another Cook County Circuit judge, the one who made the original 2006 ruling, decides on a claim by Sprint to dismiss that ruling based on new evidence.
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