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May 6, 2008 2:26 PM
Posted by Mark Watanabe
The long-expected tie-up between Clearwire and Sprint Nextel on WiMax technology is close to happening, the Wall Street Journal is reporting this afternoon.
The deal, valued at $12 billion, would put the merged venture under the Clearwire name and be headed by Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff, the Journal reported on its Web site. Craig McCaw, the wireless pioneer who has led Clearwire's development after a series of earlier wireless enterprises, will be chairman.
The WiMax marriage has been discussed for some time, but was tabled last year as Sprint was hit by financial problems. But the talks were restarted under new Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, a onetime top executive in Seattle-based wireless and broadband companies.
The venture has drawn investments from top technology and broadband companies, including Intel, Google, Comcast and Time Warner.
The Journal said an announcement of the deal could come as early as Wednesday
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