updated 8/23/2004 6:35:50 PM ET 2004-08-23T22:35:50

Cingular Wireless LLC said Monday that AT&T Corp. and AT&T Wireless have extended their licensing agreement in preparation for Cingular's acquisition of the telecom giant's former unit.

Under the deal, AT&T Wireless will continue using the AT&T name for sixth months after its acquisition by Cingular. The companies said the extension is an attempt to minimize customer confusion and that after the six-month transition period, Cingular will drop the AT&T brand name.

A spokesman for Redmond, Wash.-based AT&T Wireless said the companies expect the acquisition to close by the end of the year.

The companies also re-negotiated and extended network service agreements between AT&T and AT&T Wireless. Cingular agreed to pay AT&T $100 million for international long distance, private line services and corporate telecommunications services. The contract was extended by up to 17 months.

Atlanta-based Cingular Wireless is a joint venture of SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp.

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