In a move that surprises absolutely no one keeping up on the aftermath of Sprint Nextel's merger, the acquisition of Sprint affiliate UbiquiTel has closed this week in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.3 billion. In exchange for taking on UbiquiTel's $300-odd million of net debt, Sprint Nextel adds an additional 452,000 direct subscribers and gains territory in 9 states for a total of roughly 8.3 million in population. Even better, they avoid the wrath of yet another affiliate miffed by the non-compete clause busting merger, which added Nextel territory to many areas serviced by Sprint affiliates and vice versa. With the billions Sprint has now shed on affiliate buyouts, mergin' ain't as cheap as it used to be, it seems.

[Via The Wireless Report]

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