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Sprint gets more time to sell some Nextel assets

By Chris Rizo | Nov 14, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-The Illinois Supreme Court has again declined to hear an appeal by Sprint Nextel Corp. over its lawsuit with affiliate iPCS Inc.

Schaumburg, Ill.-based iPCS sued Sprint Corp. in July 2005 to block competition after Sprint's $36 billion merger with Nextel Communications Inc.

iPCS, which sells Sprint services, sued Sprint, saying that it was violating iPCS' exclusivity agreement by selling Nextel products in the territory of its iPCS Wireless subsidiary.

In March, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Quinn's ruling that Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint Nextel must divest of its Nextel network in iPCS' wireless territory.

In its ruling issued Wednesday, the state high court ruled that the original 180-day period within which Sprint was required to cease owning, operating, and managing the Nextel wireless network in iPCS Wireless's territory be changed to 360 days.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court has once again denied Sprint's request to appeal the ruling of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the trial court's decision. Said iPCS Chief Executive Timothy Yager.

"We are disappointed that Sprint has been given an extra 180 days to comply with its obligations, particularly since the original order was entered in September of 2006. Nonetheless, we look forward to Sprint's compliance with the trial court's order and are encouraged that the Illinois courts continue to share our view of the protections afforded by our agreements with Sprint," he added.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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