Sprint Nextel and Clearwire have been joined at the hip for years, creating what has been at times an uncomfortable marriage. But the two companies — while not splitting outright — are growing apart.

As a result of recent stock changes, Sprint is no longer Clearwire’s majority shareholder. On June 1, Sprint made the decision to surrender 77,413,434 shares of Class B common stock, reducing its voting interest and diminishing its share in the company below 50 percent. As a result of the deal, Sprint agreed to pay Clearwire of $7,741.34.

“Now that our economic interest has fallen below 50 percent, we are reclaiming our full voting rights so that our voting rights and economic rights are once again aligned,” a Sprint spokesman told Reuters.

A Clearwire spokesman declined to comment on what the change in ownership might mean. However, the two companies very much remain aligned, working together on the roll out of a new high-speed LTE network. Sprint also remains Clearwire’s largest shareholder and wholesale partner.

Last December, Sprint announced plans to invest $1.6 billion in Clearwire, adding to its previous investments. Despite the investments over the years, Clearwire’s stock remains tattered with a value of $1.6 billion. It is down 70 percent over the past year.

Previously on GeekWireGoogle selling entire Clearwire stake for $47M, four years after $500M investment

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