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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 23, 2006 at 3:37 PM

Vonage’s IPO trumps Clearwire’s

Vonage, which provides telephone services over broadband, said it has priced its initial public offering at $17 a share.

It is offering 31.25 million shares, meaning it will potentially raise more than $530 million. If it taps into additional shares being set aside for over-allotments, it could raise up to $610 million.

Shares of Vonage common stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VG. The offering is being led by Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities, and UBS Investment Bank, acting as joint book-running managers, and Bear, Stearns, Piper Jaffray, and Thomas Weisel Partners, acting as co-managers.

The amount of money is somewhat startling given Kirkland-based Clearwire’s recent IPO filing. Clearwire, which is building out a wireless broadband network, said it will attempt to raise $400 million through a public offering. It has not said how many shares it intends to sell, or whether any will be set aside for over-allotments.

Analysts have compared the two companies with each other before. Both are attempting to take business away from existing telecom carriers, and both are trying to build well-recognized national brands.

Those two things definitely take a lot of bucks. But still, at least for now, it seems Vonage is mostly providing a service, whereas Clearwire also has to build costly infrastructure that resembles a cellphone carrier.

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