EarthLink Absorbs Sprint Internet Service

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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