A Sprint retail location (Getty)
NEW YORK (AP) - Sprint is buying out the founder of Clearwire to gain majority control of the wireless network operator.
Sprint's move follows a pledge by Japan's Softbank to infuse Sprint with cash by buying a majority stake in it.
In a regulatory filing Thursday, Sprint Nextel said it will pay wireless pioneer Craig McCaw and his holding company $100 million for a 5 % stake in Clearwire, pushing Sprint's stake above 50%.
Clearwire has the right to use a large share of the nation's airwaves, but lacks the money to renovate and expand its network.
Sprint has been struggling financially too, and hasn't been in a position to invest in Clearwire until Monday's announcement that Japanese cellphone company Softbank would buy 70% of Sprint for $20 billion.