EarthLink and MindSpring have finalized the details of their $4 billion merger, following stockholder approval of the move. Garry Betty, CEO of EarthLink said: "This merger clearly establishes EarthLink as the US's largest independent ISP."

The merger consolidates the new company's position in the key areas of narrowband, broadband, Web hosting and e-commerce. The newly merged Earthlink hopes to expand in all these fields.

The new company will be headquartered in Atlanta, current home of EarthLink, with the former CEO of MindSpring becoming chairman of EarthLink. The company now serves 3.1 million customers.

Looking to the company's future strategy, Betty commented: "With our continued focus on the switcher market, Internet newbies and small businesses, EarthLink is identifying and delivering the ISP for the future. As the Internet becomes a more integral part of people's lives, and people depend on their Internet service provider for a wide variety of necessities, EarthLink will be the service provider filling all our customer's needs with dependability and innovation."