Why Is Sprint Laying Off 75 Percent of Clearwire Employees?

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Sprint Corp. (NYSE:S) laid off an additional 161 Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) employees in Washington state on Friday and said it would eventually lay off 75 percent of Clearwire’s workforce as a part of its $3.5 billion acquisition of the company, The Seattle Times reports. Most of the layoffs were focused in the Bellevue and Kirkland areas.

According to a report from the Kansas City Business Journal, Sprint has laid off a total of 1,000 employees since it was acquired by the Japanese SoftBank (SFTBY.PK) back in July. A Sprint spokeswoman told the paper that the affected Clearwire employees had been notified about the layoffs and were receiving separation benefits. About a week ago, a spokesman for Sprint told the paper that only two out of Clearwire’s nine executives were staying with the company in the wake of the Sprint acquisition.

Sprint did offer a little hope for the few Clearwire employees left, saying in a statement seen by Fierce Wireless: “Hundreds of Clearwire employees involved in serving existing Clearwire customers and the ongoing LTE network build project will continue with Sprint long-term, predominantly in Bellevue, Wash. and Herndon, Va. However, approximately 75 percent of Clearwire’s pre-acquisition workforce will be affected by the separation process.”

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