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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless, the top U.S. mobile provider, on Wednesday denied speculation that it is involved in a wireless airwaves sale by smaller rival Clearwire Corp.
"We're not participating in the Clearwire auction," said Nancy Stark, a spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc.
The comment followed a Bloomberg story late Tuesday that said Verizon was among several companies that had shown interest in a Clearwire wireless airwaves sale.
Clearwire has said it expects to raise new funding by the end of the year in order to continue to expand a high-speed wireless network that it is building.
It has said the funding could come in the form of debt with either an equity investment from a strategic partner or a funds from the sale of wireless airwaves it does not need.
Shares in Clearwire, which is majority owned by Sprint Nextel, rose 46 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $7.21 on Nasdaq on Wednesday.
Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Gary Hill