US Unwired has filed an injunction against Sprint to block the Sprint Nextel merger. US Unwired cites their exclusive ability to market the Sprint name. Based on Sprint Nextel being marketed under the Sprint Master Brand, the Nextel side of Sprint corp would provide direct competition with US Unwired. It is not clear at this time if US Unwired will combine this complaint with their existing 2003 suit against Sprint for past affiliate claims.
While Sprint is currently in negotiations with affiliates, it is likely that any further requests to stop the merger will be combined with the US Unwired complaint, making the legal name of the case for trial lawyers to pour over for years: Affiliates v Sprint.
While at this point a settlement is still likely, and this will probably not delay the merger, it could cast significant negative clouds in the public domain. Sprint does not want customers to be aware of the network’s affiliate divisions, and should a preliminary injunction be granted before trial, even the general media will provide non-stop coverage of the trip-up that Cingular avoided.