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EarthLink, MindSpring agree to merge

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New York--EarthLink, Pasadena, Calif., and MindSpring, Atlanta, Ga., have agreed to merge in a stock deal valued at $1.7 billion, creating the nation's second-largest Internet service provider, behind AOL. Together, the merged company, which will be known as EarthLink but retain MindSpring's headquarters in Atlanta, will have an estimated base of more than 3 million members. The combined market capitalization of both companies is about $3 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
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