iPCS files emergency motion to block Sprint/Clearwire deal

Affiliate carrier iPCS continues to be a thorn in Sprint Nextel's side. The company filed an emergency motion for preliminary injunction in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., to prevent Sprint from completing its proposed merger of the Xohm WiMAX network with Clearwire to form the "new" Clearwire (along with a $3.2 billion investment from Google, Intel, Comcast and others). The FCC is supposed to vote on the proposed merger today.

iPCS' legal maneuvering is causing speculation that Sprint Nextel may be ponying up to purchase the affiliate to make this battle go away. iPCS  filed a lawsuit on May 12 against Sprint claiming that the WiMAX deal with Clearwire violates an agreement iPCS has with Sprint giving it exclusive rights to provide wireless service in its territory. So far the courts have sided with iPCS. In mid-September, a Cook County, Ill. judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit brought by iPCS against Sprint and said that Sprint would have to disconnect its iDEN network in iPCS territories. 

Sprint has purchased other affiliates including Alamosa PCS and Ubiquitel. iPCS is currently its largest remaining affiliate with 654,000 subscribers.

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