A potential legal roadblock against the Sprint Nextel-Clearwire venture was lifted this week as iPCS, Inc. withdrew its request for an injunction that would have barred operation of the Clearwire network in areas served by iPCS. Earlier this month, the FCC approved Sprint’s acquisition of a majority stake in Clearwire, which is expected to deploy the nation’s first coast-to-coast WiMax network. Yesterday, shareholders approved the transaction, which is slated for consummation by year’s end. Shortly after the Sprint-Clearwire partnership was announced in May, iPCS—a Sprint affiliate that provides wireless service in five midwestern states—filed suit against the venture on grounds that it would violate iPCS’s contractually guaranteed right to operate as the exclusive provider of Sprint-branded service in markets served by iPCS. The company also sought injunctive relief that would have prevented Clearwire from operating in the areas in question pending a final court ruling. On Monday, iPCS withdrew its request for injunction upon receiving assurances from Sprint and Clearwire that they had no plans to operate in the disputed territories prior to July 1, 2009. Clearwire also said it would provide iPCS with 60 days’ notice before launching service in those areas. The underlying iPCS lawsuit, however, will proceed with a trial date scheduled for December 2. Meanwhile, in a separate, but related suit, the Illinois Supreme Court last week refused to hear Sprint’s appeal of a lower court ruling that held Sprint’s 2005 acquisition of Nextel to be in violation of exclusivity agreements with iPCS. As such, Sprint will be forced to divest Nextel assets in areas served by iPCS, although Sprint will be given an additional 180 days (for a total of 360 days) to comply with the lower court’s order.