Sprint brand struck legal blow by iPCS

Regional US cellular operator, iPCS, Tuesday threw a legal spanner into the works of Sprint Nextel’s drive for a unified brand.

iPCS, an affiliate of Sprint Nextel, said that Judge Thomas Quinn has ruled in favour of its claims that the Sprint Nextel merger violated a management agreement between the companies.

The judge ruled that the Sprint Nextel merger violates iPCS Wireless’ exclusive right to “own, operate, build or manage” the Sprint PCS network in its territory and ruled that Sprint Nextel is to divest itself of the Nextel branded business in iPCS Wireless’ service area.

iPCS Wireless manages a territory with approximately 7.8 million licensed points of presence in portions of Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

Sprint has been embroiled in legal battles since its merger with Nextel last year. A number of the company’s affiliates have complained that they would be competing with the Nextel brand in their own territories.

So far Sprint has bought up seven of its affiliates, but a further three, including iPCS still remain.

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