Sprint loses court battle with affiliate

1 Apr 2008

An appellate court in Illinois has upheld a lower court ruling that Sprint Nextel should cease marketing iDEN services under the Nextel name in parts of the Midwest, Associated Press reports. The decision supports a case filed by Sprint affiliate iPCS, which says it has an agreement with Sprint under which Sprint cannot offer services in iPCS territories. Problems arose in 2005 when Sprint merged with Nextel, a firm which does have networks in iPCS service areas. The latest decision is a setback for Sprint, which had challenged a 2006 court ruling under which it was given 180 days to divest its Nextel networks in the iPCS territories. The Illinois appellate court has reinstated the 180-day deadline. Sprint has said it is ‘disappointed’ with the decision and is now considering its options. iPCS serves 629,000 subscribers in parts of Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska.