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Sprint to buy some U.S. Cellular markets in Midwest

Sprint, the No. 3 wireless carrier, is buying U.S. Cellular's operations in Chicago, St. Louis, central Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio for $480 million.

November 08, 2012|By Wailin Wong

Sprint Nextel Corp. said it is buying a large chunk of struggling U.S. Cellular Corp., including its hometown Chicago market, for $480 million.

The nation's third-largest cellular phone company also is buying U.S. Cellular's operations in St. Louis, central Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

The deal, which requires regulatory approval and is expected to close in mid-2013, will transfer spectrum and about 585,000 customers — roughly 10% of U.S. Cellular's subscribers — to Sprint.

The markets accounted for 11% of U.S. Cellular's service-related revenue through the first nine months of this year. After the sale closes, the company will have more than 5.2 million customers in 23 states, including smaller parts of Illinois.

wwong@tribune.com

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