The Washington Post

Clearwire discloses Dish offer for spectrum

Clearwire disclosed Tuesday that Dish Network has made an unsolicited offer for part of its spectrum, following on the heels of a previously announced agreement between Clearwire and Sprint. Sprint owns 51 percent of Clearwire, and the companies have entered into an agreement for the remaining 49 percent of shares.

According to a release from Clearwire, Dish would be offering $3.30 per share for its spectrum — higher than Sprint’s offering price of $2.97 per share — but under a number of conditions. Those conditions include requiring Clearwire to terminate its agreement with Sprint for interim financing.

Clearwire said that parts of the proposal “may not be permitted under the terms of Clearwire’s current legal and contractual obligations.”

In a response, Sprint shed some light on what that might mean. Under its current agreement with Clearwire, Sprint said, the larger carrier has to approve all spectrum sales and that the Dish proposal runs afoul of several other provisions in the agreement between Sprint and Clearwire.

In a separate statement, Sprint said it does not think the Dish proposal is viable.

“[The] DISH proposal would require Sprint to voluntarily waive rights that it holds as a stockholder of Clearwire and that it possesses through various vendor and customer contracts that significantly predate Sprint’s proposed acquisition of the remainder of Clearwire,” the company said in a statement. “Sprint does not intend to waive any of its rights and looks forward to closing the transaction with Clearwire and helping consumers across the country realize the benefits of this combination.”

Dish Network could not immediately be reached for comment. Clearwire shares were halted in after-hours trading at $2.91 per share.

On Friday, Fierce Wireless reported that Clearwire investor Crest Financial is planning to file a complaint over the Sprint-Clearwire deal with the Federal Communications Commission before a Jan. 28 deadline for comment. According to the report, Crest believes that the Sprint deal greatly undervalues Clearwire’s spectrum.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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