EarthLink Network Inc. completed its purchase of Sprint Corp.'s consumer Internet business, catapulting the company into the biggest league of Internet service providers with 680,000 customers. The $24-million deal, announced in February, gave the Westwood, Kan.-based long-distance giant a 28% interest in the Pasadena company. Sprint will market a co-branded EarthLink Sprint Internet service to its long-distance customers and in 6,000 Radio Shack outlets, where Sprint sells PCS wireless service. Existing EarthLink customers won't notice any changes, except for a new corporate logo. Shares of EarthLink closed up 19 cents at $61.19 in Nasdaq trading; Sprint gained 44 cents to close at $71.75 on the NYSE.
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