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RealTime IT News

Sprint Nextel's Affiliate Purchase is $6.5B

Sprint Nextel says it will buy its largest affiliate, Nextel Partners Inc., for $6.5 billion or $28.50 a share price.

The price had been the subject of extended negotiations with each company hiring advisers to calculate the value of the deal, which was announced Tuesday. The total value of the acquisition (Sprint Nextel, which had already owned 32 percent of Nextel Partners) is estimated to be about $10 billion.

Just last month, Sprint Nextel said it will pay $4 billion for longtime affiliate Alamosa Holding Co., bringing 1.5 million subscribers in 19 states directly under its control and short-circuiting a lawsuit.

In August, Alamosa sued Sprint regarding exclusivity covenants Sprint had with Alamosa's subsidiary AirGate. Sprint Nextel has been actively trying to buy its remaining affiliates.

The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals, including review by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, and is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2006.

The giant merger of Sprint and Nextel became official in August.

The recently merged company has been anything but quiet this year. In addition to its purchases, Sprint Nextel and the nation's largest cable companies announced last month

they are forming a joint venture to better compete against Baby Bells and satellite companies.

The deal between Comcast , Time Warner Cable, Cox and Advance/Newhouse Communications and the wireless carrier speaks to the fierce competition in the communications industry.

The companies said they plan to "develop converged next-generation products for consumers that combine the best of cable's core products and interactive features with the vast potential of wireless technology."