It's been called one of the decade's worst acquisitions, and there's no argument here. In 2005 Sprint paid $36 billion for Nextel, then a high-flying wireless provider with a cool walkie-talkie function on its phones. By then Nextel had peaked in popularity, and just three years later Sprint wrote down Nextel's value by $30 billion.
Sprint Nextel is now in the process of closing Nextel's iDEN network for good. It's a long and expensive task, and a reminder of the steep price shareholders have paid for management's mistakes.